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Once again it is Monday, and that means Middle Grade! Today I'm am reviewing the second book in the Cragbridge Hall series, The Avatar Battle, by Chad Morris. To read the review of the first book, The Inventor's Secret, click here.
Abby and Derick are starting their second year at Cragbridge Hall. Derick is excited and knows that this year he gets to work with robot avatars. Abby is wary. Her grades are low, and she doesn't feel as if she belongs at the prestigious school.
As the year gets underway, Grandpa Cragbridge brings the twins deeper into his secret world, and makes them members of the Council of the Keys. They are among the few that have access to time travel and vow to keep it secret and the time line unaltered. Then the worst happens, someone or something gains entrance to the school and one by one, members of the Council are found unconscious and their keys missing.
Abby and Derick have to figure out who is behind the attacks and why, and how to stop them.
A great second story. The side plot of Abby struggling to keep up in school keeps the story more real. Her feelings of insecurity and doubt show through in her actions and her ability to work on the Council of the Keys. Derick is the opposite, full of confidence. He is able to handle the robot avatars better than anyone in his class, and is invited into an elite group of users. His biggest battle is one left over from book one. Can he stay in the hologram chamber long enough to receive his own key?
I think the funnest part about the story is that I didn't know who the bad guy was or how they were sneaking into the most secure places of the school to attack teachers. The author does a great job leaving some red herrings, and I fell for them. The truth lies in following one of the sub-plots, but that's my only hint :)
Kids will enjoy this series and I'm excited for the next book. 4 Stars!