Thursday, October 7, 2021

Knights and Bikes by Gabrielle Kent, illustrations by Rex Crowle and Luke Newell

Knights and Bikes by Gabrielle Kent, illustrations by Rex Crowle and Luke Newell 
Series:  Book One of Knights and Bikes 
Format:  Paperback
Publisher:  Sourcebooks for Young Readers

Number of Pages:  256
August 2nd, 2018 
Source:  Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Opening Line:  "The wind howled around the cabin like a rabid beast as the rain crashed against the windows." 

On a dark rainy night, Demelza is startled by an intruder breaking into the camper she shares with her pet goose, Captain Honkers.  After subduing the girl, Demelza is surprised to find that this girl is close to her own age.  Not having many friends, or the heart to send Nessa back out into the rain, she offers her a deal, in exchange for letting her stay, Nessa has to become her bestest friend ever.  And so the two girls seal the deal with a spit handshake.  

Nessa has many secrets, and a past she's not willing to share just yet.  She however is intrigued by Demelza's home, the camper park and the crazy golf course Demelza and her dad run.  When Demelza learns her home is about to be sold, Neesa agrees to embark on a treasure hunt across Penfurzy Island with her.  With the help of Captain Honkers, Demelza's mother's journal, and a set of clues pointing them to a lost castle, rumored to be protected by the Penfurzy Knights the girls hope to locate the legendary treasure and save Demelza's home. 

Knights and Bikes is based off of a crowdfunded videogame of the same name.  In the game, as with the book two girls are on a small British Island, sometime in the 1980's exploring for a lost treasure.  According the games website, some of the inspiration came from Cornwall, a peninsula in the southwestern portion of England, King Arthur's Castle and the movie Goonies.  The designers had hoped to capture that adventurous spirit of being a child in the fictional setting of Penfurzy Island.  The story is so imaginative and I certainly felt that free spirit of childhood reflected in the girls riding their bikes going on an adventure.  Reading the book was kinda like being at an amusement park, with all the excitement, anticipation, and defiantly a wild ride.  I also loved the 80's vibe of comic books, videogames and of the Goonies inspired gear the girls brought with them as they explored the island, sure there was flashlights, spare batteries, and bubblegum, but a toilet plunger, pop rocks and chip sandwiches were just the icing on the cake.  Oh and those anime like illustrations by Rex Crowle and Luke Newell tie in beautifully with the videogame and just added to the excitement of the story.  At it's heart, Knights and Bikes resonates with the theme of friendship and I really look forward to clipping in for the next wild ride in Rebel Bicycle Club.    Here's a sample of the artwork style and energy of the game.  Enjoy!!  


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