The Rise of the Legends #1

The Rise of the Legends #1
Publisher Name
Good Harbor Entertainment
Age Range
Release Date
March 19, 2024
Mikaela Kadono is bummed when her parents move the family to a creepy, old, fixer-upper house, leaving behind her friends, school and familiar neighborhood. But things quickly look up when she meets her new neighbor, George, who invites her to join a cool club called Drone Legends. Little does Mikaela know that this will be the first step in a life-changing adventure!

On The Drone Legends very first mission, a nearly tragic accident brings a mysterious, talking AI drone into their lives. But was it really an accident? And who created this drone that seems to be far beyond any available technology? As they search for answers, Mikaela discovers that the old house her parents bought holds a secret - a cryptic message from the past, hidden in riddles and codes. With the help of her new friends, they embark on a quest to solve the mystery, which takes them on a perilous journey from adventure on the high seas to secret tunnels deep beneath the ground.

The team applies science, math, cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned gadgets as they solve the clues and battle a mysterious foe who always seems to be one step ahead. The closer they get to solving the mystery, the more it seems that the messages were left specifically for them. But how would someone living a century earlier know that Mikaela and her friends would even exist? And what role is this strange, intelligent drone playing? Is it a friend, or part of a conspiracy to change the course of history?

It’s a nail-biting adventure full of twists and turns, as Mikaela and her friends race against time to stop an evil plot to take over the world. Are they following their destiny, or are they in over their heads? The fate of world and future of humanity hangs in the balance.

Editor review

1 review
Preserving the timeline
(Updated: January 08, 2024)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The book’s premise is innovative as a sentient drone from the future with multiple personalities shows up to make sure the main characters stay on the timeline where they’ll become Legends. The drone is given the name Gimbel and it continuously hovers nearby to observe and step in if needed. Need may not be the correct word as Gimbel doesn’t always help when the characters are in trouble. George becomes trapped in a life-threatening situation but the drone won’t do anything to aid his rescue. The club’s teacher-advisor is perplexed by an attitude that won’t save the life of an endangered child. What will Gimbel do when one of the Legends is caught in the middle of a burning forest? It’s amusing for readers to witness the three personalities discussing/arguing whether to save a kid’s life.
The book features STEM education as an afterschool drone club called the Drone Legends brings the main characters together. The kids are given projects by the advisor which involve modifying drones to perform different tasks. There is some technical language but it won’t be overwhelming for readers. The students in the club are very accepting of others as Mikaela and Collin are readily welcomed by Kendall and George (or Jorge). These characters are great role models for middle-grade readers as this age group isn’t always known for being understanding or thinking about others. Kendall wears high-tech glasses that allow her to see things in more detail and to access information like a portable Google search. The cryptic clues found by the students are sometimes based on math and science while there are also connections to ancient mythology.
A central conflict finds a former club member named Malcolm determined to get revenge against the teacher. Readers will be surprised at how far this kid will go as he’s unconcerned about the possibility of hurting or killing other people. It’s not totally surprising when readers meet his father. Tommy is one of Malcolm’s minions and he spends much of his time bullying a Legend named Collin. Tommy also has a difficult father but the author allows this character to grow and change. Mikaela earns some respect from him when she protects Collin by unleashing karate moves on Tommy. This moment is a catalyst in Tommy’s transformation when Mikaela later offers compassion and understanding, causing him to question his past choices. It's nice to see an antagonist develop and learn in a story instead of remaining a bad guy no matter what.
What didn’t work as well:
A drone gets hijacked and almost results in Kendall being killed and then George’s drone is unexpectedly connected to Blue Tooth. For kids who are so intelligent, they’re quite naïve when it comes to considering something suspicious might be going on. Also, Collin can receive visions from animals but his supernatural ability is out of place in a story based on science and technology. It’s not necessary.
The final verdict:
The epilogue reveals Gimbel’s creation and what its mission will be. Time travel is always a complex topic as characters don’t want to change events that cause a ripple effect into the future and Gimbel’s mission will be featured in the series. Overall, it’s an entertaining adventure that you should check out.
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