Book Review: The Cubit Quest by Trevor Leck

Summary:  Twelve-year-old Charlie Watkins could have inherited his dad's massive intellect.

He got his massive feet instead.

Perhaps if Charlie had that intellect he might have been able to figure out why so many men in suits were suddenly following him or where his dad hid the Cubit - a mythical object that men have sworn to protect and even more have died trying to possess - before his so-called accident.

If starting yet another new school wasn't bad enough, Charlie meets Mr Leopold, a disfigured, mind-reading lunatic and discovers that he alone must find the Cubit if he is to save his dad. The Brotherhood, however, have other ideas. Led by the ruthless Draganovic, they will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. With the help of Mr Leopold and fellow new boy Elvis, Charlie sets out on The Cubit Quest.

Hunting for the Cubit, playing football, lessons with the dreaded Funeral Face and unsuccessfully avoiding school bully Grimshaw by day, Charlie finds his nights no less complicated. Stalked in his dreams, he's soon immersed in a world of power struggles, battling dragons and duels to the death. With the Brotherhood hot on his heels and as the bullets begin to fly, there are no guarantees that Charlie, or anyone else, will make it to the end in one piece.

Release Date: March 2017
Age Group: MG or YA, Urban Fantasy
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review: This is a coming of age adventure with a bit of a Goonies flair who like to meet in The Matrix for a nice steak dinner. 

The Cubit Quest was fun buuuuttttt... I will admit it was difficult for me. Let me explain.
Leck does a good job of building a strong presence of friendship, loyalty and mystery. I really ended up vested in the story and I still want to know what happens to little Charlie and big 'ol Elvis. 

There is a little something for every genre: mystery, heartache, fighting, ghosts, new dimensions and even dragons. I might say it's Urban Fantasy 'ish.

The content of this story is MG but the flow of the text would better suit a YA audience, it is a bit jumpy. Several times I would have to go back a re-read a paragraph because I had just jumped to an entirely different scene. Distinct formatting would have helped the scene changes. I feel like a reluctant reader would get frustrated.

There are a lot of characters to piece together but in the end they all have a purpose. I wanted to really like some but I just never felt like I got to know them enough to love. For instance, when one dies it really affects Charlie but the "why was he so important?" still lingers.

I am an American. Which means in a lot of cases I (we) think that the rest of the world should follow suit {I know, total snobs}. When you talk about football, I think of the Super Bowl. This story is English and I think football was referring to either cricket or soccer. I had to keep reminding myself to make the mental shift. There are several English terms and references used throughout the text, and that is not a bad thing. I actually found it fascinating and started highlighting phrases to look up later. Here are a few of my notes:

  • "cuppa, fancy one?" --> Is cuppa a cup?
  • dialling 999 --> I thought 911 was universal... I am a fool. I need to know all emergency numbers before I leave the country.
  • on the football pitch
  • "Mario was still smarting"
  • the spelling of "cheque"
  • The English Christmas tradition of "listening to the Queen's speech and munched their way through a tin of Quality Street"
  • ... the posh kids couldn't score for toffee --> does that mean "crap"? Couldn't score for crap? I'm going to start using toffee.
  • Charlie slipped his trousers and trainers on... --> it just sounds cooler than "pants".

Overall, The Cubit Quest is a fun, fast read. Fans of the Goonies and The Matrix will enjoy this adventure.

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