I was quite pleased with Volume 1 of No Starch‘s LEGO Adventure Book. It offered builders a lot of options for some new, fun models you won’t find on store shelves. Now some months later, author Megan Rothrock and No Starch are back with Volume 2. The title remains exactly the same – in fact the only thing distinguishing the two books is the colored border at the top of the hardcover [this one is red; volume 1 was blue] and the 2 on the spine. The coverart is different but you can’t see that when it’s lined up on a shelf. Oddly enough the only Volume 2 label is on the spine…you’ll notice the cover to the left has no mention of volume number. I could understand for some it may cause some confusion but I like the consistency a lot so it doesn’t bother me.
Where Volume 1 brought us “Cars, Castles, Dinosaurs, & more!”, Volume 2 boasts a tagline of “Spaceships, Pirates, Dragons, & more!” Once again, Rothrock has compiled a bunch of home-built models from expert LEGO builders around the globe. This time she’s managed to include a few from some actual LEGO-affiliated folks including a retired LEGO designer (isn’t that cheating?!!). Like last time, I need to give a special shout-out to Birgitte Jonsgard (p.105) because a) her Gingerbread House model breakdown is really great, and b) she’s a SCIENCE TEACHER…in Norway. That’s like – double awesome. And I also have to give special mention to Arjan Oude Kotte because a) he’s a Dutch bicycle mechanic (a man after my own heart!), and b) his ship models are bleeping fabulous. His rendition of Cousteau’s Calypso is dynamite. LEGO Cuusoo that sucker please.
Following the first book, Volume 2 showcases creations from each builder in their own color-coded section for easy reference. Each section is a mix of fully built models they’ve created – leaving it up to readers to figure out how to put them together – and some step-by-step instructions for a few models as well. The cover of the book says there are “nearly 40” breakdowns for readers to follow and build. Like me, many will be saying “aw man I wish they’d shown me how to built that one instead!” But, in the end I think there’s a good mix of really small and simple breakdowns and a few larger ones. If the book has one downfall, it’s exactly the same as the first – the models that readers are really going to want aren’t the ones with the directions. Going along with all of the pictures of the models and directions are a continuous series of comic panels featuring Minifigured versions of the author and the featured builders. Each comic is shot in it’s own setting and usually follows a story containing the models currently shown on the pages. Adults will find it superfluous but younger kids will enjoy the mix of fun with the directions.
As for the book itself, No Starch continues to produce well made, good looking books. It’s a nice solid hardcover with thick richly colored pages. Overall a solid addition to the LEGO book lineup from the publisher. And with the holiday season coming up, No Starch can definitely fulfill the LEGO lover’s book needs, so don’t forget to check out their website. I hope Rothrock continues this series of book and look forward to Volume 3? Make it so.
The LEGO Adventure Book Volume 2: B+
$24.95 direct – NoStarch.com