Just been reading the newest offering from Sahel Steve Davies – currently enjoying the life of a newly wed in la Belle France – but preparing to return to his adopted home of Burkina Faso before long.
Anyhow, Steve’s new book – The Yellowcake Conspiracy – promises thrills and spills along the lines of the Anthony Horowitz books, or perhaps Charlie Higson’s young Bond stories. If that kind of read is what you’re after, you won’t be disappointed – it has the necessary villains, plucky hero and gadgetry.
But beyond these necessities what does Steve Davies offer that should tear us away from our beloved Alex Rider? Well quite a lot actually, common to both his Sophie books, and this latest effort is an immersion in the sights and sounds of Africa. The pages drip with Saharan sand, and Tuareg nomads, camels, and cows play as important a part in the tale as do the gadgets and villainy.
Clearly Steve is in love with the continent – although you can also see the inevitable dismay at the ‘complications’ of African politics in the story too.
I think this book (and I’m sure it wont be the last of its kind) is an excellent way to instill some idea of the reality of life in the countries around the Sahara into young lads.
Our world is now almost universally reachable by mobile phone or internet – in a great way this book reflects that. While Horowitz’s Alex Rider is a child of the North, Steve’s creations are his African counterparts. For all that though, the story is extremely easy to read, no difficulty I would suggest for even the least well versed in Africa and its people’s and ways – a good read indeed.
Seems like the book is aimed squarely at the 13/14 age group, and it certainly presses the requisite buttons for that demographic…
One complaint though Steve, why oh why oh why did you call a character Gonad? Made me laugh that did.
You can buy it off Amazon.