Book Review, Uncategorized

BOOK REVIEW: The Dog Who Saved The World by Ross Welford

– Short Review –

Set a short while in the future this is a time hopping, save the world adventure.  Dogs are spreading a fatal disease and it’s up to Georgie and her best pal Ramzy to take a chance on the mysterious Doctor Pretorius’ experimental Virtual Reality Time Travelling Machine and leap a year into the future and find the cure.
If you enjoyed Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy you’ll enjoy this.

– Long Review –

Any animal lovers will enjoy this book – the first page had me hooked when we learn about the poster that Georgie has on her wall:
THE WISDOM OF DOGS
Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like dogs
If what you want is buried, dig and dig until you find it
Don’t bite if a growl is enough
Like people in spite of their faults
Start each day with a wagging tail
Whatever your size, be brave
Whatever your age, learn new tricks
If someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit near and nuzzle them gently
Georgie loves dogs,  In fact she had adopted Mr Mash from the local rescue centre, St Woofs, but had to return him after they discovered that her step-mum, Jessica, was badly allergic.
To keep in contact with him she volunteers at the dog rescue centre and it’s whilst walking Mr Mash at the beach one day that Georgie and Ramzy encounter the slightly strange Doctor Pretorius.  Nobody in the town knows much about her other than the fact that she’s rented a big domed space, where a restaurant used to be, and is rumoured to be creating some kind of game.
When Mr Mash starts bothering her at the beach she takes them back to her mysterious lair.  What she has created is a time hopping machine that can predict the future and she needs a couple of kids to test it – Georgie and Ramzy are the perfect candidates.  Throwing caution to the wind, they strap on her special helmet and step a week into the future.  Everything works as it should, assuming you ignore the glitch in the system that’s creating massive scorpions and the fact that Georgie seems to have returned with a piece of fruit from the future.
With the experiment over, life carries on as normal – that is until the outbreak of a serious disease that’s being spread by dogs.  A similar outbreak happened before, that was spread between cattle (and killed Georgie’s mum) so instantly everyone knows how serious this could be for the world and how desperately a cure is required.
Urgent action is called for but first Georgie has to save Mr Mash from the rescue centre.  Even though this is a massive risk she can’t face the idea of him being euthanized along with the rest of the inhabitants of St Woofs and secretes him in a barn they have at home.
Before long though Mr Mash is gravely ill and it seems like she may have made a massive error and put her entire family in danger.
Miraculously he recovers though – does his immune system hold the key to a cure?
Jessica is one of the scientists working on the conundrum but reveals it could take up to a year to discover the cure – time that they don’t have.  A solution is required in weeks not months.
How can they speed up the process?  Clearly they need to re-visit the Doctor’s time travel machine.  If they can jump a year into the future and bring back the cure then humankind could be saved.  Trouble is Dr Pretorius has, rather inconveniently, had a heart attack and they need to bust her out of hospital as she’s the only one who can control the machine.
This all leads to a super finale where there is plenty of action in the current world, as well as a pretty dangerous mission in the future.
Can Georgie, Ramzy and Mr Mash save the world?  Can they happen to pick up a bonus set of future lottery numbers whilst they’re at it?
It’s fun, fast paced and strangely believable.  Time hopping tales can sometimes be a little complex but this is easy to follow and full of heart.  A great read.
The Dog Who Saved The World is published by HarperCollins and is available here.
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Ross Welford

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Ross Welford was a journalist and television producer before becoming a full-time writer. He lives in London with his wife, children, a border collie and several tropical fish.

Reviewed by Angela Paull

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