The Project Book Review

The Project by Brian Falkner

It was an innocent prank involving a toilet seat and the most boring book in the world, The Last of the Mohicans. For punishment, Luke and Tommy have to write a paper and during their research they stumble across a book that makes The Last of the Mohicans look really exciting. But it's not what the book is about but rather what secrets it contains. Luke and Tommy may have just stumbled across a secret that is centuries in the making and could very well change the course of history.

In the same vein as Brain Jack and Tomorrow Code, Falkner weaves together a story that is a bit science fiction, a little bromance, and a lot action adventure. Faulkner has a real knack for plot, weaving together one adventure after another and taking turns that you never saw coming. The Project goes from a sleepy Iowa town to a terrible flood to a kidnapping and then to Germany--during World War II. The constant movement makes the book a quick read despite its 288 pages.

Because Falkner cannot let go of his roots, Luke is of course, a Kiwi (New Zealander for those not familiar). However, this story felt more honest and true than Brain Jack did in that regard. Now, I don't know where all Falkner has lived in the US, but it is obvious that he Iowa really made an impact on him when he was living there and the insertion of the floods was clever.

One of my criticisms would have to be that Tommy and Luke were far too much alike. I often forgot which of the characters was supposed to be the "smart" one. Which one was the gadget guru. Especially since once kid would pull something out of his backpack and then the other one would use it and it was occasionally confusing. Also, I'm just wondering if there really are kids out there using the phrase "Sweet as"? It isn't a big deal except I thought it sounded goofy and I really hope that the author made it up because I don't know how I feel about living in a world where "Sweet as" as an actual sentence.

Falkner's biggest strength though is his endings. A lot of authors, like Suzanne Collins, have disappointed me time and again with their too-good-to-be-true endings or just an inability to bring the story home. Falkner has never had this problem and The Project is no exception. I still say Tomorrow Code is his best book thus far, but The Project is better than a lot of books out there.

Yet again, I prefer the international cover to the boring US cover.