Set in the modern day, The Jack Courtney Adventure series follows 14-year-old Jack Courtney and his friends Xander and Amelia on adventures across the world. If you’re a Wilbur Smith fan, then you’ll know the Courtney’s from previous novels. Now they are back, but the focus in on the younger members of the family.
While Cloudburst, the first book in the series, saw the Courtneys in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Thunderbolt takes Jack, Xander and Amelia on an entirely different journey in Zanzibar.
Jack and his friends are there diving for lost treasure to support Jack’s mother’s coral protection project. Going further than usual on their last day, their dive boat is lured into a trap and captured by Somali pirates, holding them for ransom. Determined that his mother shouldn’t pay a ransom for their release, Jack won’t give up his attempts to escape.
Transferred to a militia training camp for child soldiers, the trio’s only hope is the resourceful Somali boy, Mo, who befriends them – but will Jack trust him? Can they outwit the ruthless General Sir and his merciless troops in this second gripping adventure?
Smith is a worldwide phenomenon whose readership has built up over fifty-five years of writing. He has published over forty global bestsellers, including the Courtney series, and many standalone novels.
Smith’s extensive travels and experiences shine through in this adventure series, as does his meticulous research, and Thunderbolt is nail-biting and adventure-packed. It demonstrates why Smith is hailed as the master of adventure fiction.
Co-written with author Chris Wakling, Smith was inspired to write for a new generation of readers after seeing the action young people in the world today are taking to question what is happening to the environment. This is clearly illustrated by Wakling and Smith through the book’s themes of friendship, family, environment and power – just the kind of themes young readers aged 10+ should be absorbing.