[review] Bjørn Sortland & Timo Parvela: Kepler62: The Call & Countdown

Sortland, Bjørn9789510412596_frontcover_final 9789510412589_frontcover_final
Parvela, Timo
Illustrations Pasi Pitkänen
Kepler62: Kutsu [Kepler62: The Call]
WSOY 2015
ISBN 9789510412589

Kepler62: Lähtölaskenta [Kepler62: Countdown]
Finnish translation: Outi Menna
WSOY 2015
ISBN 978-951-0-41259-6

The Call is the first book in a series called Kepler62. The series has been co-written by the Finnish author Timo Parvela and the Norwegian author Bjørn Sortland and it was published simultaneously in their respective home countries. In The Call, we get to know two brothers, Ari and Joni, who have gotten their hands on a new videogame called Kepler62. The game is famous for the fact that no one has managed to complete it. Ari and Joni are ready to take on the challenge, but they have no idea what the end of the game will bring. They succeed and find out that the game is actually a test for finding suitable young people to join a secret mission. The project is called Out in space for ever (OTNSPCFRVR) and it intends to send kids and young people as pilgrims to research the Kepler62 planetary system.

In the second part of the series, Countdown, Ari and Joni are joined by a girl called Marie. Marie comes from a rich family and she has paid for three guys to play the game to the last level. Marie has been neglected by her parents and she wants to escape her misery. She finds herself from Area51, where Joni and Ari already are. There she meets an alien called Whisperer. Whisperer tells Marie a riddle, scaring her, and she decides to escape. Everything does not go according to plan and Marie falls into the darkness. That is when she figures out the answer to the riddle…

The series consists of sci-fi-inspired, easy-to-read stories aimed at tweens. Pasi Pitkänen’s illustration creates a great atmosphere and takes the story forward even in the spreads that contain no text at all. The series follows the traditional pattern for hooking young readers to read as the text is easy to read but the plot is exciting and adventurous. Additionally, every book ends with a cliff-hanger. Even as an adult reader, I enjoy the series and can hardly wait to see how it continues!

Suvi Oksanen

Also by Timo Parvela:
Isäni on supermies (Tammi 1996)
Tuliterä (Tammi 2007)
Taron suuri pieni seikkailu (WSOY 2014)

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