In the fourth book of this gripping series, the Inventory’s final secrets are revealed. Having learned a troubling truth about himself in the Black Zone of the Inventory, Dev is called back into action to defend the world’s greatest store of futuristic tech, and he’ll need all the help he can get from his friends. Someone has stolen Winter Storm, a swarm of powerful biobots, and is using them to infect and control people! Who can be trusted now?
Published by Scholastic
A WORLD OF ADVENTURE
When I was a child I didn’t go anywhere. Well, not quite. I got to explore beautiful Wales quite a lot, but I never went abroad. The only opportunity I had to see what was beyond our shores was by reading books. That’s how I discovered the pyramids in ancient Egypt, Mayan cities lost in the jungle, armies made from terracotta and vast reefs under the ocean.
I was also blessed with the fact I had three local libraries around me – yes, three! And my dad would take my brother and I there every Friday. That was just how life was.
Fast forward – I became a writer and with it came the opportunity to travel. I actually got to see the places I’d only ever read about and it was mind blowing. It can never be understated just how inspirational it is to visit new places, meet exotic people, taste unrecognisable food and engage with completely alien cultures. That is where ideas are nurtured and it gives texture to anything you write.
Having just finished Katherine Rundell’s excellent The Explorer – and especially after going through the Amazon jungle myself – I can see the subtleties of such experiences there on the page. When I wrote my Tarzan series, I went to jungles and savannahs. I met lions and gorillas and even swung (very badly) from a vine in the Congo jungle (note: rattan vines are covered in sharp spikes and will shred your hands). Then I reluctantly headed home and relived those experiences on paper, under the guise of my characters.
When it came to writing the Inventory series, the technology part was the easiest. I grew up reading comics, watching science fiction films and building the most astonishing inventions out of Lego… that never really worked. But to tell the Inventory story, I needed those adventures to occur somewhere – so I was tasked to find locations. Let’s face it, it was a great excuse to dust off the backpack and travel…
Over the course of the four books Dev, Lot and Mason travel around the world to Toronto, Hong Kong, out in the ocean, through the Pacific Northwest of America, get lost in the streets of Marrakesh, destroy Tokyo, visit France, Switzerland, Germany… amongst many other places. Every trip was an excuse to stamp a little of the location’s character on the page to make it feel a tad more real. Wondering the streets of Tokyo brought action scenes vividly to life, while standing atop the CN Tower in Toronto gave me opportunities to throw my cast into peril.
All terrific fun! However, at the back of my mind was the fact I was already aware of these locations before I visited them, primarily because I had read about them a long time ago…
In a library in the suburbs of Liverpool.
Only now do I realise that, while I couldn’t psychically travel when I was younger, I had already seen the darkest nooks of the world because of my local libraries. While I was complaining about never going anywhere, my dad had actually made sure I had…
And that’s now a huge worry for me. Out of those three excellent libraries only one of them still exists, the other two are sad empty shells devoid of dreams and imagination. I found these pictures online – a depressing before and after of my favourite place in the entire universe.
The loss of these dream palaces are not just depriving people of books, they are snatching away their chance to see the world, to experience places they may never visit. I just hope that kids like me continue to have the opportunity to close their eyes and travel.
As an author, I’ll make it my duty to pass that baton on…
Andy Briggs is the bestselling author of the gripping, tech adventure series The Inventory. Published by Scholastic, the fourth and final book in the series is Winter Storm – out February 1st, it’s time to reveal all of The Inventory’s secrets.