I think I read this teenage book around 2010/12, and I don't have a huge amount to go on.

The main bad guys, the Phalanx (might be spelled slightly differently) are trying to get the main macguffins, some sort of gyroscope contraptions that possibly generate power. I seem to remember small sections, such as the phalanx having a huge, three armed one in their base, that generated their power. Possibly a ship's captain having one on his desk, and it burnt a hole in his ceiling, but those are more vague.

The book had small sections of "facts" about the phalanx and blueprints of the gyroscope things. I seem to remember that one page had a black and white illustration of some sort of tractor/bulldozer knocking over a load of trees. The main characters were possibly two teenagers: a guy and a girl. I seem to remember that it was maybe an inch, inch and a half thick, and it may have had a red cover with a dragon on it.

I was always slightly confused by it not explaining things, so it might have been the second book in a trilogy, but I don't think I ever checked that, so I could be wrong.

  • 1
    This question would be improved by going through the checklists here; How to ask a good story-ID question?
    – Valorum
    Sep 2, 2018 at 22:54
  • There were a group of X-Men villains called the Phalanx.
    – AJM
    Mar 25, 2022 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


This may be a little late, but the series you were looking for is The Guild of Specialists by Joshua Mowll:

  • Operation Red Jericho
  • Operation Typhoon Shore
  • Operation Storm City

These books follow the adventures Rebecca and Douglas MacKenzie aboard the ship Expedient, which is under the control of their uncle, Captain Fitzroy MacKenzie. They are opposed by the Kalaxx, who seek to steal their gyrolabes, which are gravity warping devices that can be used to generate energy.

And, as you note, they are chock full of diagrams and illustrations, being framed as in-universe diaries of the events.

  • 2
    Can you explain why it matches?
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 10, 2021 at 18:19
  • Sorry for the delay, I was busy for a couple of days. That is the correct series, now I can finally read all of them
    – voidUpdate
    Nov 10, 2022 at 17:18

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