Arundel Publishing, 2013. 978-1933608525
Synopsis: A week ago, Colt Shore was just another teenager living in the shadow of his dead older brother and attending classes at an elite spy school. But after overhearing a conversation between his uncle and his parents, he begins to realize that his life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Now, he’s a secret agent with a mission to rescue eleven girls without any outside help and the bad guys quickly closing in. Being a spy definitely isn’t like the movies!
Why I picked it up: I got a lovely email from Amy Henkel at Arundel Publishing who had read my blog and thought I would be interested in the book.
Why I finished it: The book has a distinctive feel of a spy novel – high mystery, adventure, baddies bent on some form of world domination or another, a dashing hero, a pretty girl – and has a fast-paced and exciting plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. Colt’s transformation as a character from ‘boy’ to ‘Bond’, so to speak, helped to really engage me in the story (because the characters are what keep me interested in the book) and keep me reading. While he starts out as somewhat tentative and hesitant about what he is asked to do, Colt gradually comes to grips with the notion that it is individual choices that affect the success or failure of a mission, and that he can’t look back on what might have been. I was also intrigued by the domino metaphor throughout the book, though it got a bit muddled as I got to the end of the book. Avian’s writing is lyrical and informative, painting a grand picture in the reader’s mind and keeping them supplied with enough details as the story moves along for the reader to connect the dots as Colt works his way toward completing his mission. It’s an unforgettable adventure that is imaginative, exciting, and keeps the reader entranced until they reach the last pages.
Other related materials: Young Bond series by Charlie Higson; Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz; The Gatekeepers books by Anthony Horowitz; Diamond Brothers Mysteries books by Anthony Horowitz; Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer; Maximum Ride novels by James Patterson; The Genius Files books by Dan Gutman; Cherub series by Robert Muchamore; H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education books by Marks Walden; The Monsters of Morley Manor: A Madcap Adventure by Bruce Coville; Spy by Richard Platt; NERDS books by Michael Buckley; Secret Agent Jack Stalwart books by Elizabeth Singer Hunt; Infinity Ring books by James Dashner; Spy School by Stuart Gibbs; Dreamhouse Kings books by Robert Liparulo; The 13th Tribe by Robert Liparulo