The Billionaire's Curse
by Richard Newsome
This was a fun and exciting story, but the writing is a bit amateurish.... I was not surprised to discover this is the author's first novel. It reads like a screenplay, as if the author was hoping a movie studio would buy the rights to make it into a movie. The plot is pretty silly, but it's suspenseful and a fun read. Kids won't mind the plot holes.
I had planned to recommend it to my 11 year old, since there wasn't anything objectionable other than a couple of minor swear words and a lot of action. But then suddenly in the last few chapters it turned quite violent.... one of the main characters (a teenage "good guy") beats a villain to a pulp and sends him careening into a bon fire where he dies in flames. He is defending his sister and friend, but it goes a bit too far. I was horrified. It's disappointing that it kind of ruined the book for me.
There are several other incidents of violence, one of which leads to another gruesome "bad guy" death, though it's unintended and not graphic. The book seems to be aimed at 11 to 13-year-olds, but I would say it's more appropriate for over 13. (If they made a movie and kept everything from the book, it would certainly be PG-13.)
This is book one in a trilogy. The second book is scheduled to be released in the US in May of this year.