It is always a cause for some personal celebration when Andy Briggs releases a new book. I loved his Tarzan series and I can't wait to read Iron Fist, the first book in his new The Inventory series, especially given its brilliant summary:
The Rules: if you find a secret inventory of utterly deadly battle tech.
1) Do not try it.
2) Do not tell anyone.
3) Do NOT let thieves in behind you.
What’s more secret than top-secret? The Inventory. Home to the deadliest inventions the world isn’t ready for. Invisible camouflage. HoverBoots. Indestructible metals. Plus a giant creature of chaos: war robot Iron Fist. No one has ever broken past the state-of-the-art AI security system. (Seriously, most bad guys have no idea this stuff is even there.)
Problem 1: the security robot wasn’t ready for a gang of kids wandering in.
Problem 2: they’ve ONLY brought the ruthless Shadow Helix gang in behind them. Seriously dumb, but it’s a bit late for ‘sorry’.
Say hello to trouble: the Iron Fist is in the wrong hands!
Today I am overjoyed to be welcoming Andy to The Book Zone, as he gives us an introduction to his main character, Dev:
ENTER THE INVENTORY WITH DEV PARKER
Call him Dev, not Devon, which is his full name. He hates that. The only time he hears his full name is when he is in trouble – which is often. That’s not because he’s a trouble causer, he’s just easily bored. All those lessons in school, he already knows that stuff. Or he thinks he does, but has probably forgotten. How can he learn anything interesting in school when he lives in an underground complex that houses the most advanced and incredible inventions ever made?
He lives with his uncle, Charles Parker, who is the Inventory’s curator. Their relationship is not exactly fun. Uncle Parker is cool mannered and not very talkative especially when Dev keeps asking about his parents. He doesn’t remember them and his uncle never has the time to talk about them. In fact, Dev doesn't know if they’re dead, missing or simply not interested in him. Not that he dwells on it too much. He’s gone beyond worrying about them – why bother when he can strap on a pair of HoverBoots and fly around the Inventory… even if he’s not allowed to touch any of the exhibits.
Breaking those rules drives his Uncle completely bonkers. To enforce his point, Charles Parker has the help of Eema – an artificial intelligent giant metal sphere with an emoji face and a chirpy personality. She is a battle robot, so is armed to the teeth! Despite that, Dev is more than happy to pit his wits against her as he sneaks into forbidden areas of the Inventory.
Dev’s dreams are to leave all of this behind him. There is a big wide world out there, and living underground – even surrounded by amazing stuff – can be boring, especially if you’re not allowed to touch any of it. It’s not as if he has friends. His Uncle’s strict secrecy orders means Dev has never had the opportunity to befriend anybody. Which, as he grows older, becomes more irritating. He’s constantly trying to avoid being picked on by the school thug, Mason, and is tongue-tied when he has the chance to talk to Lot, a girl with an infectious smile that he desperately hopes he’s not developing a crush on.
One final thing to tell you about Dev is that he has a, well some call it an ability, others call it a phenomenon and to others it’s a disability or neurological condition, called synaesthesia. He sees numbers and letters as colours and sounds because his brain scrambles how he senses such things. It’s a strange, and real, affliction. Some sufferers could easily tell you that yellow plus green equals six; the problem for you and I is that it really does. Dev’s condition is a lot more advanced, and something he has turned to his advantage in a very peculiar way…
So, go down to the Inventory yourself and meet Dev in his first adventure: IRON FIST. The further he delves into the world’s greatest secret the more answers he will discover about himself, his parents, his condition and… he might just make a few friends along the way...