From the first page to the last, RuinWorld is a book that draws you into its universe and makes you desperate to stay there as long as possible. It is truly superb. At no point does the book feel oversaturated with unnecessary dialogue, the pacing is perfect and the action is sprinkled effectively throughout to keep you on the edge of your seat. I came to this book ready to like it, everyone had told me it was great and I had been toying with buying it for months. However, I wasn’t prepared for how much I was going to love it. Everything about it seemed perfect for me as a reader and the illustrative style of Laufman really supported the quality of his writing.
The story in simple terms is a classic adventure where a group of adventurous types meet and form a team in a bid to stop an evil enemy gaining dangerous levels of power. Despite following a classic format of the action genre, the book never feels cliched or predictable. All of the characters have their own personal reasons for being involved and these are developed or responsible for choices along the way. Again, this is done naturally rather than just shoved in because that’s what happens in adventure stories.
You’ll meet lots of characters throughout the book but the real stars of the show are Pogo and Rex. At times they feel like a modern version of Sam and Frodo but they develop at a much quicker rate and have less conversations about potatoes. Rex is the bold and brash heroic one of the pair while Pogo is nervous and often only one tentative decision away from causing disaster. Others join them in their quest but these two really steal the show.
RuinWorld is one of the books that feels like an essential in all classrooms, it’s not a risky pick where you wonder if this years class will appreciate it. There will be children in your class who will adore it and chances are once a few start reading it most of the class will because the joy this book gives the reader is infectious. As soon as I had finished it I needed to speak to people about it, whether they had read it or not. Laufman has created a truly brilliant book and we can only hope that he is going to revisit this universe more in the future.
6/5 – It is that good and that essential, if you teach Year 4 and above you need it.