Reviews for Around the World in 100 Days
Booklist Reviews 2010 November #1
Let the extreme road trip begin: wild man Harry is never one to walk away from a wager. The young man-about-town succumbs to the challenge of mean-spirited businessmen who view him as an easy mark, challenging him to drive his newfangled steam-powered motor car around the world. He can board ships as necessary with the contraption, but he must arrive back in London within 100 days. It's 1891, and the world does not trust the promise of the automobile. Along with an observer and a journalist, Harry is joined by his trustworthy mechanic, and the unlikely foursome sets forth on a hair-raising adventure. Danger lurks at every turn--Cossacks, kidnappers, and garden-variety outlaws--as do mechanical failures and all manner of mayhem. And who knows if observer Charles and charming journalist Elizabeth are really undercover saboteurs? The journey is fun and suspenseful, and, of course, our hero prevails--barely. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Blackwood writes a sequel of sorts to Jules Verne's classic. In 1891 Harry Fogg makes a bet with his father's old nemesis that he can circumnavigate the globe in one hundred days--this time in a steam-powered motor car. Along the way there are plenty of revelations and reversals of fortune. This road trip novel will appeal to adventure fans. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #1
Blackwood, known for writing historical fiction/alternative history (The Shakespeare Stealer, rev. 7/98; The Year of the Hangman), here writes a sequel of sorts to Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days, one that works well regardless of the reader's familiarity with its classic inspiration. In 1891 Harry Fogg follows in his famous father's footsteps when he makes a bet with Phileas's old nemesis that he can circumnavigate the globe in one hundred days -- this time in a steam-powered motor car. He sets off with Johnny, his friend and mechanic; Charles, the son of the man who bets against him, coming along to enforce the rules to the letter; and Elizabeth, a journalist bent on making her name by chronicling the historic undertaking. This is essentially a road trip novel with one entertaining episode following the next, but along the way there are plenty of revelations about key characters, not to mention several reversals of fortune, that leave the outcome of the bet in doubt. Likable characters, a varied setting, and an interesting premise mark Blackwood's latest offering as a good choice for fans of adventure. JONATHAN HUNT Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 October #2
It's 1891, and young Harry Fogg's obsession with automobiles has landed him in jail. His father, Phileas Fogg, and mother, Aouda, long for Harry to settle down and adopt a gentlemanly profession. When Harry lands in more hot water—wagering at his club that he can circle the globe by automobile in 100 days—Phileas finances the trip on the proviso that if Harry loses he will give up tinkering with cars. Accompanied by Johnny, friend and automotive genius, Charles, whose father is betting against Harry, and Elizabeth, journalist and proto-feminist, Harry sets off in his state-of-the-art, steam-powered car. Like his father, he'll face daunting challenges both technical and human, including the presence of a saboteur. Blackwood retains what's best from Around the World in 80 Days, by that forefather of steampunk, Jules Verne—the lighthearted humor, race against time, loyal friends and devious foes—while dropping the Eurocentrism; Harry's mixed-race heritage and adventures in a world on the cusp of social upheaval provide a subtle contemporary subtext. The synthesis makes for a thrilling, thoroughly road-worthy joy ride. (Historical fiction. 10 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2011 January/February
Harry Fogg risks his money, reputation, and future vocation on the outcome of a reckless bet. Making the protagonist the son of Phineas Fogg, who circled the globe in 80 days, actually enhances rather than distracts from the story. This time, the bet is to circle the globe in 100 days, driving a custom-built, steam-powered motorcar. Boats are permitted over bodies of water, but otherwise the car must travel under its own power. It is intriguing how the team handles various obstacles during the race. The outcomes are often surprising. Just as the automobile team races to London, so will the reader hurry to finish the novel. I was impressed with how Harry becomes more aware of British ethnic and class prejudices. Readers will come away with a better appreciation of the need to avoid bias and not judge people. One premise of the book is that it's possible for everyone to find his or her niche and become successful. A map, so that readers can follow the racers' progress, would have made eading even more enjoyable. Recommended. Betsy Ann Shoffstall, District Librarian, Indian Lake Local Schools, Lewistown, Ohio ¬ 2011 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
Positioned as a sequel of sorts to Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days, Blackwood's story centers on Harry, the carefree son of legendary adventurer Phileas Fogg. Harry bets men at his father's Reform Club £6,000 that he can drive his car, the Flash, around the world in 100 days (the motorcar may be shipped across bodies of water). Impulsive Harry is joined by his friend/mechanic, an "impartial observer" (really, the uptight son of one of his competitors), and a feisty reporter. Together, they face a near collision with a train, raging wildfires, sabotage, and even kidnapping. Blackwood (The Great Race) ably infuses their voyage with coming-of-age themes: Not only does Harry want to "prove the worth of the Flash and of motorcars in general," but he also wants to prove himself to his father, who has made Harry promise that if he loses, he will "take up some profession appropriate for a gentleman." Newspaper dispatches and various details about the countries they cross--from the landscape to food and politics--further enliven an adventure that makes good on its innovative premise. Ages 10-up. (Nov.) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 December
Gr 5-8--Phileas Fogg made the voyage in 80 days, and in this imaginative historical adventure his son, Harry Fogg, has made a wager of his own. In 1891, the exuberant young man has bet that he can circle the globe in a steam-powered automobile--the Flash--in 100 days. There's much more at stake in this challenge than just the £6,000 prize. Free-spirited Harry is determined to prove that the automobile is the transportation mode of the future. His rigid and regimented father has reluctantly agreed to cover the cost of the wager, but there's a condition: if Harry wins, he can pursue his motorcar dreams, but if he loses, he must get serious and pursue a professional career that his father deems more befitting an English gentleman. Accompanied by his gifted but quirky mechanic; an abrasive, foppish "minder" who's there to make sure the rules of the wager are followed; and an intriguing female reporter, Harry and his crew face many obstacles. Some are natural, some mechanical, and some human. Most troubling is the fact that someone--most likely one of the passengers--is apparently trying to sabotage the Flash. Blackwood's steampunkish romp has a touch of humor and a great deal of heart, which brings readers fully onboard as they feverishly turn pages in this race against the clock.--Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI [Page 100]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
VOYA Reviews 2011 February
Phileas Fogg's son, Henry, has undertaken a wager even more daring than his father's wager that he could go around the world in eighty days. It is 1891, and Henry is extremely fond of the new conveyance, the automobile. Henry makes a large wager which gives him one hundred days to circumvent the globe. He can use ships for ocean voyages, but all other travel must be accomplished in the automobile. He needs to take his mechanic, Johnny, with him, but just before he sets off, he discovers he also has to take the son of one of the men he bet against so they can ensure he plays fair. Once the three of them get to America, they add one more passenger, Elizabeth, a young reporter who is fascinated with the motor car and eager to make a good impression on her bosses. Their around-the-world journey has the reader wondering up to the very end whether Henry and Johnny will prevail or whether they will meet their match against possible internal sabotage, Cossacks, flash fires, or the difficulties they have finding passable roadways. Will Henry make it in one hundred days Blackwood has done a wonderful job recreating the excitement and adventure of Verne's eighty-day saga with Henry's father. There seems to be something exciting at every turn. While crossing the Continental Divide, Henry and crew are even run off their "roadway" by a train coming straight at them. Give this book to young people who like cars or enjoy learning about how things work, as there are many descriptions of the mechanics of the automobile.-- Lynn Evarts. 4Q 3P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.