HarperCollins, 2012. 978-0062104373
Synopsis: After 12-year-old Linc gets into trouble yet again – this time on a school field trip – and his middle school threatens to expel him, he doesn’t think his problems could get any worse. Then he is contacted by a top secret government agency known as Pandora. Pandora can make his problems go away with the school, but only if he stands in for missing junior agent Benjamin Green, with whom he bears a twin-like resemblance. Sounds like cake, except that Linc has absolutely no training as a secret agent…and there’s more to the mission that meets the eye.
Why I picked it up: I was emailed by the author about her second book in the series, Double Vision Code Name 711 and I wanted to make sure I read the first book before I dove into the second.
Why I finished it: This book is a fantastic ride that takes the reader to the edge of their seat and beyond. I instantly liked Linc because even though he’s not exactly secret agent material, he’s got a certain amount of street smarts and charisma that enable him to finesse his way out of most situations. Paris as a setting also has a level of excitement all its own, and moves the reader and Linc out of their comfort zone as the characters zip through side streets and major landmarks to successfully compete the mission. Bradley doesn’t disappoint with her secondary characters either: the ‘Bond Girl’ Françoise is independent, motivated, and a master sneak, which keeps Linc on his toes; the baddie that doesn’t start out as a baddie is masterfully hidden and subsequently revealed, and the sinister motives alone are enough to keep turning the pages; the techie sidekick Henry is equally quirky and smart, and I would pretty much love to have any of the gadget that he creates for Linc. Fast, fun, and exciting, the book is a definite must-read for fans of the Young Bond and 39 Clues series. I’m anxious to see what is in store for Linc’s second adventure!
Other related materials: Double Vision: Code Name 711 by F.T. Bradley; Agent Colt Shore: Domino 29 by Axel Avian; The 39 Clues books; Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer; Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz; On the Run series by Gordon Korman; Young Bond series by Charlie Higson; The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman; Spy School by Stuart Gibbs; The Boy Sherlock Holmes series by Shane Peacock; Foiled by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mike Cavallaro; Secret Agent Jack Stalwart books by Elizabeth Singer Hunt