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VOYAReilly picks up the action where he left off in Crash Course (Simon & Schuster, 2004/VOYA October 2005), just after the race that qualifies young Jason Chaser and his crew for the Sponsors Tournament. The result of that race leads to another surprise when Jason is invited to drive a professionally sponsored hover car in the Italian Run, one of the four international Grand Slam race. With brother/navigator Bug and mech chief Sally McDuff in tow, Jason is off to Italy. The action accelerates "full throttle," leaving character development in the dust. Reilly makes a stab at a moral dilemma concerning fellow racer Ariel Piper, but it adds little or nothing to the story, and Bug and Sally get short shrift. Plot development is minimal; the two race events dominate the narrative. Still there is enough time leading up to the Italian Run to insert a note or two of intrigue and introduce some mysterious, if stock, characters. Short, choppy sentence fragments coupled with a keen sense of rhythm and timing propel the story right up to the slam-bang cliffhanger ending. This sure-pick for reluctant readers is bound to please action aficionados at any reading level. Apart from two course maps, line drawings by Raimondi were unavailable for review. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005 (orig. 2004), Simon & Schuster, 224p., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 15.