Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Review: The Impossible Race by Chad Morris

The Impossible Race, by Chad Morris
2015, 432p, Middle-Grade Fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

In the final book of the Cragbridge Hall trilogy, Abby, Derick, and their friends must utilize their skills in time travel and technology to survive roving bands of dinosaurs, race through space, build robots, and fight virtual dragons.

It’s known as the Race—an annual tournament where teams of students compete in the hopes of winning an unbelievable prize. But before this year’s competition, Derick and Abby receive a terrifying message from the future: Charles Muns’s plan to control history is going to succeed. It will cost countless people their lives and change the destiny of the world. And there is nothing anyone can do to stop them.

Despite the danger, the twins gather their friends and enter the Race, ready to compete against the best of the best in order to claim what might turn out to be a key of ultimate power.

Can they compete the Race in time and stop Muns? Or has the future already been written?

A page-turning, time-travel adventure that teaches powerful lessons about choice and consequence, believing you can do hard things, and valuing our history.

This is a book and series that I could go on and on (and on) about, but what it boils down to is this: It's fantastic!! What a fabulous way to end this series! I don't want to say too much, either, because it is a series that needs to be experienced to truly appreciate it.

Abby and Derick are shocked to learn that their grandfather's secret is the award for the winner of the annual race. They form a team so they can hopefully win and keep the secret from getting into the wrong hands or becoming common knowledge. The stakes are high and the challenges are difficult but they are determined to do their best.

Abby deals with her insecurities as the leader of their team thinks that she and Carol are liabilities. She feels the need to continually prove herself worthy of being at Cragbridge Hall. Her nemesis, Jacqueline, is also still around and continues to make her feel like she doesn't belong, which stresses Abby out even more. There's also added pressure as they learn something about Derick which raises the stakes even higher for them to succeed.

Carol continues to bring comic relief to otherwise tense situations. She still has a major crush on Derick and isn't shy about letting him know. Derick faces the reality of his situation and we learn more about him. His challenges are different than Abby's but he still has things to deal with.

This is a fun, fast-paced read with adventure, time travel, history, futuristic technology, humor, and plenty of twists and turns. The team challenges were exciting! From our past experiences with this series, we knew we would want to keep reading more so we carved out extra time for this book. Mr. Morris has a great sense of humor and a way to make history interesting and relevant. My children and I read a lot of books and this is hands down our all-time favorite series which we recommend to everyone!! 

A couple of notes on this series:

1. A few years ago, I decided to wait until all the books were out in a series before we would read it. We had one where we caught up and it took forever for the final book to come out. When it did, we felt a little lost and didn't enjoy it like we would have if we had read it right after the previous book. When I saw the first of these books at Costco, I picked it up right away and it sounded so good that we started reading it. When we were in the middle, I suddenly remembered my "rule" to wait until all the books were out, but it was so good that we couldn't stop reading. I'm glad we kept reading them as they came out and want to read them all again in order! (We're loosening up on this "rule" as a different series has come out that we decided to read now instead of waiting so we wouldn't be the last ones to read it.)

2. Last summer, we took a last minute road trip to California with one of my sisters. As we were leaving, she stopped at a bookstore to pick up an audiobook to listen to on the way. She would pick up different books and we were like, "Yeah, that sounds like it would be good," etc. Then, she picked up The Inventor's Secret (book one in this series) and we immediately said, "Yes, that's a fantastic book!" Since that book got the biggest positive reaction, she bought it and we all enjoyed listening to it and now she is a fan, too!

Chad Morris would love to be able to control animal avatars, see history in 3D, and show everyone how he imagines stories. Since the inventions that would make that possible currently exist only in his imagination, he settles for reading, writing, playing basketball, rappelling down an occasional slot canyon, dating his wife, and hanging out with his five awesome kids. Chad speaks Portuguese, can play the Phineas and Ferb theme song on the guitar, and does decent impressions of a velociraptor and Voldemort—but not at the same time. He isn't very good at fixing his car, shopping for anything, cooking, or growing hair.

Click on the covers to read my reviews on the other two books in this series:


Unknown said...

Awesome! I am going to have to get these for my son! Great review :)

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