Tag Archives: Kensy & Max

Kensy and Max #8: High Voltage – Jacqueline Harvey

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Penguin Australia

September 2021

  • ISBN: 9781760898557
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $16.99

Get ready for your kiddos to clamour to be the first – and then the next – to borrow Jacqueline Harvey’s newest book in the dynamite Kensy and Max series! This is another knock-out episode in the thrilling adventures of the twins and their family and friends – though, ostensibly, in this book everyone is meant to be on a happy relaxing family holiday.

After some tense action over the school term, Granny Cordelia decrees a holiday for the entire family in a picturesque Portuguese villa with loads of sunshine, beach, delicious food, time to chill and absolutely no phones, devices or espionage! Their holiday villa just happens right next door to the epicentre of all the action surrounding the E-Prix Championships, Wolf Motors, and an innovative new vehicle called the Wolf Electra. Soon it seems that everyone in the family is secretively investigating something as strange and disturbing incidents start to rapidly escalate. Of course, the twins and their buddies, Curtis and Autumn, are right in the thick of things and doing their very best to unravel the intricacies of kidnapping, sabotage and family secrets.

This newest mission takes the family spy business a step further as the twins’ mother, who had declared herself to be no longer interested in being an active agent, revises her position and takes an active guiding role in their investigations. Also adding more depth to characters, who have been somewhat on the periphery, readers will enjoy finding out more about Mim, and her past relationship with James Wolf – not to mention his former association with the family.

High-powered race cars and the glamour of the sport combined with the spy antics of Pharos are an intoxicating combination, and the tension and threats around the championships, the reveal of a game-changing new SUV and the evolving status of family and friends certainly will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

My readers eagerly anticipate each new title so I know this one will most definitely be in high demand as soon as it hits our shelves, particularly as we approach the holidays. No doubt many of you will already have it on pre-order but if not, then add it to your shopping list at high speed or suffer the consequences (that will be strident nagging most likely I predict).

It’s not often that an author manages to keep her dedicated fan base once they move on past the intended audience, in my experience – they often seem to ‘grow out’ of certain favourites but that is most definitely not the case with Jacqueline’s works.

My highest recommendation goes without saying for this new cracker in a highly successful series – the joy her creativity brings to readers is inspiring.

Freefall:  Kensy & Max #5 –– Jacqueline Harvey

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9780143796985

Published: 3 March 2020

ISBN: 9780143796985

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $16.99

 

Hold onto your seats for another major adrenalin rush in this new top-notch adventure of twins Kensy and Max, young agents-in-training!

In this latest episode there is a continuing thread from the previous book in which a thoroughly evil villain was unmasked. The outwardly charming Dash Chalmers has a strong connection with the Spencer family who along with his own now estranged wife and children are all at risk from his retribution.  The family have already survived house bombings, attacks from hired assassins, kidnappings and more but this drama is not yet put to rest, nor will it be until the odious and dangerous Dash has been completely neutralised, one way or another.

This time around the pair becomes a trio with the addition of Curtis Pepper, their erstwhile neighbour in Sydney, who already fancies himself quite the spy. Little does he know when he comes to visit the twins and their family at Alexandria, their English home, that he is actually being sized up as a new Pharos agent-in-training.

So while Dame Cordelia, the matriarch of the family and Head of Pharos, is honoured with the Myrtle award for media achievements and the family heads off to New York for the ceremony, there are numerous other factors at play: another attempt on their lives via a speedboat, factotum Song’s mysterious behaviour, ditto Uncle Rupert’s – both of whom are apt to disappear at the most crucial moments! – the Postal Assassin at large in NYC, the strange man who accosts them all in a park, a mysterious girl who appears to be stalking them and so much more.  Kensy and Max, plus their highly-valued new sidekick Curtis, find themselves needing to be even more resourceful and bold in their actions. And once again they rise to the occasion splendidly. But as one chapter in evil doing ends, another begins and readers will be delighted to know that it seems we can all look forward to another instalment in the future.

Again Jacqueline Harvey has hit the right chord with her mix of high-octane adventure, a good sprinkling of humour and some pithy observations on human character. And as with previous books in this series readers are introduced to yet another cipher to add to their repertoire. All in all, who could want for more?

I know that many will already have this on their ‘to order’ list and I also know that young readers will be queuing up to be the next in line to read it.

Highly recommended for all avid JH fans and newcomers from around 10 years upwards.