Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: Mac on the Road to Marseille by Christopher Ward

Read August 11th - 13th, 2015.

(Source:  I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

From Goodreads:  Fifteen-year-old Mackenzie returns to Paris to attend the Christmas Eve wedding of her Dad's old friend, Rudee Daroo, and the love of his life, dancer Sashay D'or. Mac is told about the annual New Year's taxi road rally, this year hosted by the Marseille Marauders, the nastiest lot of drivers you've ever seen.

Partnered with hulking cabbie Blag Lebouef, Mac manages to convince her parents that the road rally is more like a carefree drive in the French countryside than the death-defying cutthroat rivalry it's always been. Negotiating brutal weather, cryptic signage, outright sabotage, random flocks of sheep, and zigzagging back roads, Mac and Blag might be the perfect combination of cunning and brute strength, though they are both extremely strong-willed and rarely agree.

On the road, she makes the startling discovery that the clues the drivers have been given during the rally could lead to the discovery of some valuable missing artwork. Is that worth losing the rally over?

Mac on the Road to Marseille is a cute and quirky story about Mac, who is visiting Paris with her parents for her father's friend's wedding.  While there, a crime is discovered - someone is stealing priceless works of art like the Mona Lisa, and is replacing them with similar replicas.  After the wedding, one of the men enlists Mac as a navigator for their team in the annual taxi rally.  During the two-day rally, she will be in charge of navigating, but she may also unwittingly thwart the art thief's plans along the way.

I was a bit confused at the beginning of the novel, as I found it hard to believe that visiting Americans would allow their fifteen-year-old daughter to go off with a group of strangers to participate in a taxi rally.  However, I realized near the end of the book that this is actually a sequel, and had I read the previous book first, I wouldn't have been so concerned about her parents' approach to raising their daughter.

Parental concerns aside, I did enjoy this book.  It was a quick and exciting read, and the characters were fun and amusing.  It was a very clean book, and I believe younger readers would thoroughly enjoy it.

Rating (out of five stars):

Where to find the author:  Website

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