CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 1 . . . . September 1, 2006
As the second title in the “Redline Racing Series,” On the Limit once again makes its mark with a great fast paced story. In this novel, we catch up with young Eddie Stewart and his racing team after they placed second in the Milwaukee Formula Race. Author Hampshire does an excellent job of recapping the highlights of the first novel and making the reader familiar with who does what on the race team.
Eddie and his team are now in Toronto, preparing for their next race. This time, the race will take place on the streets of Toronto, close to Exhibition Place. It means tuning the car, the Swift, specially for this type of race. Luckily, Eddie has two top notch race engineers behind him as well as a crew chief who pulls the team together. Eddie finds that he has an edge over the competition when his genius engineer, Rick, builds an “onboard data acquisition” system allowing them to fine tune the car for the race in minutes rather than hours. Unfortunately, his competition knows about this edge. The day before the race, Eddie is confident that he will do well, but when he goes to make one final check on the race car, he discovers that the wing has been stolen. The wing, according to the handy glossary provided at the back of the book, "direct[s] airflow that pass over the race car, pushing it down on to the track." Without the wing, the car cannot race. Although Eddie has an enemy in the race world, he also has a friend. Stephen Veilleux, a race driver from France, bails Eddie out of the tight spot and gives him the wing he needs to race. Stephen had four spares after all and is a very good sport. Quickly, the engineers attach and adjust the new wing to the race car, and Eddie is ready to go. In an exciting finish to the story on race day, Eddie encounters a rainy surface, an accident on the track, and makes a quick decision to change from rain tires to dry track "slicks." After some amazing driving, Eddie places first in the race.
On the Limit is a thoroughly enjoyable read, especially for those racing fans, both boy and girl alike. Anthony Hampshire reveals a bit more about the characters, their personalities and relationships to each other in this second instalment to the series and includes some humour as well. In particular, the opening scene is quite funny. Once again, the author provides a glossary of race terms at the end of the novel.
Definitely recommended for public and school libraries.
Ellie Contursi is a librarian in London, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.