In Jake Zortman’s middle-grade novel, a school club deals with a drone that travels from the future to modern times.
Mikaela Kadono dreads the first day of school. Her father continually follows his dreams and schemes from place to place, so Mikaela knows the tensions of being the new kid in school. This time, her dad plans to rehab and resell an old mansion—one that holds important secrets—in the small town of Good Harbor.
Mikaela, a tech wizard, quickly finds like-minded friends when she joins a small school club called the Drone Legends. Although she has never flown a quadcopter drone before, she catches on quickly.
Unfortunately, a gang of bullies enjoys picking on the Legends. While this could easily become cliché, Zortman smartly makes the gang’s leader a tech genius who’s as advanced, or more so, than any of the Legends and even the group’s teacher/sponsor, Mr. Singh.
The story really picks up when the club discovers a mysterious drone that has traveled from the future loaded with the voices and personalities of three future scientists who know from history that the Legends, as adults, play an integral part in the peace, politics and science of the future; the drone has been sent back in time to make sure nothing happens to them—but interfering in their lives could change the future in unknown ways.
The story holds surprise twists, as well as secret tunnels, hidden rooms, riddles that lead to other riddles—and for a modern touch, the author lets Bitcoin substitute for a chest of gold.
In all, The Rise of Legends’ unique conceit—sending an object back in time, rather than human beings—makes for a fun adventure.
Also available as an ebook.