Sunday 1 March 2020

Boot: The Rusty Rescue by Shane Hegarty and Ben Mantle

Link to Goodreads

Published: 2020, Hachette Childrens


Boot is back with his robot heart of gold.

Okay, so he may not actually have a heart, but this 'funtime' robot sure acts like he does. I couldn't wait to meet Boot and his friends again after his adventures in Book One and this sequel felt like putting on my comfiest pair of slippers.
After finally finding a home where he belongs, contented Boot and his adorable friends are on a mission to find mishmash robot, Gerry, a new nose. Their search leads them to the sinister Testing Lab where they discover Rusty - a disintegrating robot who possesses the same awareness as they do.
Boot is instantly determined to save Rusty from Robot Heaven, but introducing him to the real world is fraught with challenges. Frustrated, Boot tries to get to the root of Rusty's problems. But when the ailing robot claims to have a broken heart, Boot is unsure whether there is any way to save him.
Character definitely leads this heart-warming and engaging series. Boot and his eclectic robot friends are truly delightful and reading the story felt like hanging out with old friends. The plot offered more of a light-hearted amble than the first in the series. That doesn't mean to say that there weren't moments of high-paced action and danger because there certainly was (intermingled with charming humour). The Testing Lab was creepy and the final race through the city was hair-raisingly exciting. However, the middle section of the book made time for some fun along the way with bouncy inflatables, a nail-biting ride to the skies and a birthday party.
Unlike book one, humans didn't feature heavily in this story at all. There was no sign of scrapyard baddie, Flint and Beth's role was minimal. However, I didn't feel this impacted negatively on the story and actually enjoyed the main focus being on the robots, although I was sad to not meet Tag again. Boot is in a much happier place in this story, meaning his sole motivation is his compassion for others - and that's why we love him!
The illustrations by Ben Mantle are enchanting and the short length makes this a manageable read for younger readers. In my opinion this sequel will secure Boot and his friends as firm family favourites and I can't wait for more riotous, robot adventures.

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