The Jamie Drake Equation
By Christopher Edge
Published by Nosy Crow
ISBN 978 0 85763 840 3
The world is watching young Jamie Drake’s dad. Dan Drake is an astronaut working on the International Space Station four hundred kilometres above the surface of the earth, and everyone is watching him on TV and on their phones. Jamie is excited to have a dad who’s an astronaut, but sometimes it’s difficult sharing him with other people. To tell the truth, Jamie misses his dad up there in space. And he worries a little bit, as well.
Before he went into space, Dan insisted that there would be private screen time for him to talk to his son. Jamie looks forward to this so much, but really he just wants his dad to be at home doing things other dads do with their sons. Dan is often away, training for missions or up there in space. It’s his job.
It’s been like this since Jamie was a small kid. The Drakes have had to live all over the world so that Dad could get to where he is today – up there, in space, on the ISS. His present mission is to launch a series of nano-spacecraft from the ISS to travel out into deep space searching for signs of alien life.
Christopher Edge’s new novel The Jamie Drake Equation is an intriguing read about adventure, science, outer space and families. The story is told in Jamie’s own words, and Edge spends a great deal of time establishing Jamie as an attractive central character that readers will understand and relate to.
Edge is also good at building up the anticipation for the adventure to start once the characters are in place. Dad is in space, Jamie is a schoolboy on Earth. Is there going to be an adventure story that connects the two?
There is. One day, Jamie is out for a walk when he comes across a building he didn’t know existed. It’s a local observatory, run by a scientist called Professor Forster, who recognises Jamie from photos she has seen in the papers.
It seems Jamie Drake can’t get away from connections to outer space even when he is out for a walk! The work Professor Forster is doing in her small observatory is minor compared to what Commander Drake is doing on the Space Station, but as Jamie is sitting in front of one of Forster’s computers, something strange starts to happen.
Weird messages start to appear on Jamie’s phone. A spiral icon begins to whizz around on the screen, and Jamie can’t work out what it is. Where are the messages coming from? Who or what is trying to contact him?
Edge’s story now kicks into top gear and soon Jamie is discovering more about what is out there than he could ever have imagined. He has always accepted that his dad is in great danger whenever he goes on a space mission, but why are these messages coming through to his phone now? Are they a warning that something is about to go horribly wrong?
Jamie Drake is a fantastic story that young readers will devour in one sitting. It’s a story for anyone who has ever looked up at the stars and wondered if we really are alone on this planet we call Earth.
John Millen can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org