Review also includes:
Spy Force Revealed, ****, 320pp, 9780192754196
11-year-old Max Remy is a bit of a misfit and can come on with plenty of bad attitude. What she does have is a rich fantasy life, where she is an international spy. Surprisingly the fiction turns into reality when it becomes apparent that Spy Force actually exists and her made-up heroine, Alex Crane, really does track down the world’s baddies. And to top it all, Max and her pal Linden are asked to join the force and go on missions.
The two titles so far are action packed, comic speed reads. They are very derivative of every spy book or film you’ve ever read and book two owes a lot to The Chocolate Factory. Readers will no doubt enjoy the science eccentrics and fantastic gizmos that are crammed into the plot. If the blurb is to be believed the series has been a great hit in its native Australia. There’s plenty of two-dimensional characterisation here yet accident prone Max does seem to be more rounded than the others and has a touching vulnerability beneath the bluster: ‘Why did she spend most of her life looking silly and feeling as if she was the odd one out?’
I’ve no doubt that youngsters will devour these books in single sittings and look forward to every new title that will inevitably come our way.