That was enough to get me interested. A book so boring that no one could read it, a secret so powerful it could change the course of history, and a young man with a memory that never forgets. A combination like that could only ever be awesome.
When a river floods and threatens the edge of town, best friends Luke and Tommy both volunteer to move books from the basement of their library to higher ground. During the crisis, they happen to discover the only surviving copy of the world's most boring book: Leonardo's River. Luke has an uncanny ability to remember everything he sees; his photographic memory constantly awes his friend Tommy. Since they had both been sentenced to research boring books as punishment for a school prank, Luke remembers where he has seen the cover of this book; he knows that it is the one that has been missing for over a hundred years, and the stakes are high for whoever finds it.
With dollar signs in their eyes, Luke and Tommy brave the rising flood waters to return to the library and steal the book. However it doesn't take long for them to realize that they weren't the only ones who had this plan. On their quest, they accidentally stumble into a secret society that goes farther back in time than they could ever have imagined, and the most boring book in the world happens to hide a secret so amazing, so terrifying, that it could change their lives forever - and Luke's impeccable memory holds the key.
This book was gripping. It sucks you into the intrigue with the first chapter, and the first sentence captures so much more than what you first realize. It is an art of foreshadowing.
This is not the most boring book in the world. This is a book about the most boring book in the world, which is a different book altogether.
It opens curiously enough, then progresses into the story; slowly but steadily peeling back each layer of the mystery, which keeps you eager to discover the outcome. Luke and Tommy are fun characters, and as the author is a New Zealander, he often throws in little quirks and references to his homeland in his character, Luke. His humour and accent often make appearances throughout the story, and as an Australian, I can appreciate the real sense of our neighboring country's culture. Also another plus is the fact that so much history can be gleaned from the book, as the boys need to learn certain things from history in order to save the world.
As for cautions, there may be some infrequent very mild language. Towards the end of the book there is some violence, do to the war setting the turn of events brings the characters to, however there is nothing overly graphic or disturbing. None of this detracts from the story at all. [mild spoiler] A pro to it would have to be the unique spin on time travel. There are many ways this topic is handled, but this one would have to be my favourite. It is new, refreshing, and fun to read. It definitely got my creative juices flowing and took me a while to stop pondering it when I finished. [/spoiler] Also, if you're a fan of tidy epic endings, this book is definitely one you would want to read.
So if you're looking for an adventurous, witty, humorous, action-packed, explosion-riddled, fun read, you've found it. I give this book five stars out of five. Plus one.