New Zealand author Falkner delivers another solid thriller (Brainjack, 2010, etc.).
Iowa teens Luke and Tommy are in big trouble at school, not simply because they find their assigned reading boring and say so. Well, maybe the prank they played on the statue of the town’s founding father was part of the problem as well. But they didn’t mean to make trouble; they even volunteered to help save the library’s books when the river overflowed its banks. It was just a lucky coincidence that they found a one-of-a-kind book in the process—a book that someone was offering a big reward to recover. They slip back the library to pick it up and get caught up in not just the flood, but a conspiracy straight out of World War II. It seems that this book contains plans to a time-travel mechanism that will enable some last, lingering Nazis to restore the Third Reich unless Tommy and Luke go back to 1944 to thwart them. Now they’re really in trouble, running from thugs, deciphering the most boring book in the world and trying to save Europe from being overtaken by Adolf Hitler all over again. This volume is hard to put down, with engaging and well-drawn characters, plenty of action and nice side helpings of history.
An epilogue hints that this may not be the end of Tommy and Luke's adventures; readers will certainly be hoping for more. (Science fiction. 12 & up)