ROBOTS + TERRORISTS = TROUBLE FOR TOM
Tom's been training his entry, SwiftBot, for the upcoming Robot Olympics -- a major event being sponsored by the White House's Office of Science and Technology. Teenage inventors from around the country will be bringing their homemade robots to compete in a series of athletic competitions. The Road Back, an antiscience terrorist group, has issued a statement condemning the event, and Tom hopes that the tight security at the Robot Olympics will keep TRB from causing trouble. But no such luck. Someone is playing dirty . . . and things are going to get dangerous.
Featuring a special introductory price, this tale launches the Tom Swift, Young Inventor series with a splash. Immediately plunging readers into the action, the narrative opens as Tom and his two best friends sneak into an aquarium to test the clever boy's latest invention, a shark-repelling zapper imbedded in a diving suit. Though the mechanism shorts out while Tom's swimming in the shark tank, the lad escapes and is determined to try out the zapper in "real-life, deep-ocean conditions." He hopes he'll have his chance when he accompanies his scientist father on a research vessel. Fearful that a recent undersea earthquake will be followed by others that could trigger a tsunami, the man plans to deploy seismic sensors on the ocean's floor that will act as a warning system. While Tom's father descends in a small submarine to accomplish this, a massive underwater quake occurs, leaving the vehicle buried under volcanic boulders. Predictably, Tom springs into action and, aided by one of his inventions, his nifty diving suit, some quick thinking and a boatload of luck. He pilots another sub and manages to save his father with just minutes to spare before their air supplies run out. Tom's superhero antics may stretch credibility, but the tale consistently moves at a well, swift pace, and kids will find this an undersea journey worth taking. Tom faces his next challenge in The Robot Olympics (; 1-4169-1361-0), due out the same month. Ages 8-12.