The Avatar Battle (Cragbridge Hall Book Two) by Chad Morris
(Summary taken from inside the book jacket) “The adventure continues as Abby and Derick begin their second semester at Cragbridge Hall, the most prestigious secondary school in the world. The year is 2074, and Abby and Derick are busy designing their own virtual worlds and learning to control new robot animal avatars, but when their Grandpa Cragbridge admits them into the Council of the Keys–a secret group of people who have keys to travel back in time–strange things begin to happen. One by one, members of the council are found unconscious and unable to wake, their keys stolen. Now Abby, Derick, and their friends must scramble to figure out who is behind the attacks before they become the next victims, which would give their enemy the power to change the past–and forever alter the present and future.”
My boys and I loved the first book in this series, and they have been asking me for months when the new book will be coming out. Finally I get to tell them it is here! And boy, it did not disappoint! Abby and Derick are great characters, along with Carol, who adds a lot of humor, and Rafa, who adds some mystery. I might have liked this one more than I liked the first book. Maybe??? I loved the new gadgets and tricks. I thought the build-your-own world bit was awesome. I love that there are so many lessons in these books. I think it’s great that Grandpa Cragbridge makes them work for their answers. I like how it describes Abby thinking and thinking and trying out new ideas and using knowledge she gains from her classes. I also like that she doesn’t always succeed, but when that happens she just keeps on trying. I feel like I’m constantly telling my kids to keep trying, don’t get discouraged, get back up and try again……it’s much better coming from a fun book than from mom’s mouth….again. The characters in this book have flaws (Abby performing lowest in the school and Derick actually failing at some things) and they know it. I love that they don’t get too down on themselves and stop trying. It’s a great lesson for all of us. The avatars are so fun, and the cover by Brandon Dorman is amazing. I love the history lessons as well. I actually learned a lot about the Hindenburg. I did feel like this book had a little less history than the first one, but it had more action. If I had a complaint that is what it would be; I wish it had a few more history lessons in it. If you enjoyed the first book, you definitely need to read this one!
There is no language and no “intimacy” except some minor flirting between Carol and Derick. There is some violence, and a few characters do get injured. It’s a little scary in parts. There is a fun twist at the end that surprised me! My 12 year-old son has already read the book as well, and he loved it. He specifically commented to me about that surprise twist at the end. Crazy and unexpected, for sure!
Rating: PG (No language or “intimacy.” There is some violence with characters being injured, and there are definitely bad guys.)
Recommendation: Third grade and up. This series is great for young and old, boy and girl, and would make a great read-aloud.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.