Blog Tour / Book Review

Pax and the Missing Head by David Barker | Book Review

Pax and the Missing Head
Author: David Barker
Pages: 216
Middle Grade | Sci-Fi
Publication Date: 12th October 2023

Buy the Book: Amazon


In a country beset by civil war, New London defends itself behind a giant wall. Inside the city, children are forced to work from an early age, except for the lucky few who train to be leaders in the re-purposed Palace of Westminster. 12-year-old orphaned Pax is brilliant at recycling old tech. He enjoys working on the verti-farms and just wants a bit of peace and quiet. But when that is taken away from him, his only hope is to pass a near-impossible exam and join the other students in Scholastic Parliament. There he’ll make new friends and new enemies. He’ll get tested like never before. And he’ll discover that not everything is quite what it seems under the mayor’s harsh leadership.


Pax and the Missing Head is a great, captivating middle-grade dystopian, that I ended up really enjoying. I found it easy to get into because Pax is such a lovable character and I thought the gloomy New London city was very interesting. It really surprised me by how much is jam-packed in 200 pages with it still being an amazing, well thought-out story.

I thought Pax was great and I really liked his character. He was incredibly caring and smart but also a bit cheeky and mischievous when it came to the rules. This book really explores the friendship theme and I ended up loving both Sam and Megan who become close friends of Pax.

There is a lot to do with technology and AI in this book as Pax is a talented and aspiring engineer. It really adds to the futuristic feel and it makes the book that bit more exciting and fun.

Overall, Pax and the Missing Head is a fantastic middle-grade dystopian that younger and older readers can enjoy. The story is a lot of fun and the characters are so enjoyable. I’m really looking forward to find out out what happens next in the series.

About the Author

I attended the Faber Academy in 2014 and from that had three climate-fiction thrillers published (The Gold Trilogy, Bloodhound Books). I joined SCBWI in 2018 as I shifted my focus to a younger audience. My MG debut, Pax & The Missing Head publishes with Tiny Tree in late 2023. I live in Berkshire with my wife and daughter. I have a passion for stories, sport and boardgames.

Buy the Book: Amazon

Thank you The Write Reads, the publisher and the author for a spot on the blog tour.

Manchester blogger with a passion for reading, writing and travelling. I always have a book or a cup of tea in my hand.


31 October 2023 at 4:47 pm

Great review. Thank you for sharing.

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