An exclusive extract from Last Gate of the Emperor and our favourite science fiction books for kids

Last Gate of the Emperor book cover and Ethiopian flag.


The book we sent our Cockatoo subscribers this month is an epic science fiction thriller, perfect for gamers and bookworms alike! Last Gate of the Emperor is set in Addis Prime, where young gamer Yared lives with his Uncle Moti and bionic lioness Besa. His past is shrouded in mystery – Moti and Besa are the only family he has. Yared is the star player in an underground augmented reality game, but when the city comes under attack, the game becomes all too real. Only by teaming up with his gaming nemesis the Ibis can Yared uncover the secrets of his past and save his city.

Authors Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen have built a vivid futuristic world inspired by the geography, history, and culture of modern-day Ethiopia. We were completely gripped by both the story and the setting and we're thrilled to be able to share the first chapter with you here:


Find out more about the Ethiopian lore behind the book in this exclusive download:


Like the sound of Last Gate of the Emperor? Copies of the book and the bespoke activity pack that we created to accompany it are available for individual purchase here (a great way to trial our children’s book club!).

Looking for more tech-inspired fiction for young readers? There are some fantastic science fiction books for gamers and tech enthusiasts out there, particularly for middle grade readers aged 8+. Here are a few of our favourites:

Adam-2 and Wonderscape book covers.


Adam-2 by Alastair Chisholm

Set in a far-future dystopian world in which humans are at war with AI, ancient robot Adam-2 emerges after 200 years locked in a basement to discover that he holds the key to the war – and the power to end it. But which side deserves his help?

Read our exclusive interview with Adam-2 author Alastair Chisholm here. Copies of his debut book, Orion Lost, accompanied by our bespoke activity pack, are available here.

Wonderscape by Jennifer Bell

Gaming and time travel come together in this thrilling adventure. Lost in the far future, in an epic augmented reality game, three friends must work together with some unlikely historical heroes to play their way out of trouble while they still can.

Troofriend and FloodWorld book covers


Troofriend by Kirsty Applebaum

Sarah’s parents invest in a Troofriend, a robot buddy designed to keep her company while they’re busy at work. It seems to be the perfect solution – but what happens when the robot develops human characteristics and feelings?

FloodWorld by Tom Huddleston

Ruthless pirates, hi-tech submarines and a mysterious map make for a thrilling, action-packed adventure set in the sunken city of a futuristic world. Can Kara and Joe find a way out of trouble before Floodworld comes tumbling down?

Find these and more brilliant children’s book recommendations on our page!

This post includes affiliate links to our page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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