Three cheers for Alabaster Dangermond! I immediately fell into Alabaster's interesting and exciting life as he's learning to become an agent. Alabaster and his peers are all strong and likeable characters, even Katya though she's not exactly a peer per say. There's a lot of both boy and girl characters that will appeal to a wide audience. True to life, they are diverse and well thought out, which is nice to witness in an upper middle school book. The pacing is consistent with a nice balance of action and emotion. The author keeps the plot twists coming and I was pleasantly surprised on the many journeys I took within the pages. There's lots of fun spy gear to keep it cool and there is enough back story to keep it interesting and moving forward. I kept thinking this is an Indiana Jones meets James Bond for middle school aged kids, except I enjoyed it as an adult as well. My son could not put this down and is looking forward to another Alabaster adventure.
With classes in weapons, martial arts, and secret codes, fourteen-year-old Alabaster Dangermond has spent the last five years training at a clandestine CIA prep school toward his ultimate goal--to become a real CIA secret agent. Before his next training mission and the all-important Agent Trials, he receives a mysterious email with a video showing the murder of his parents. Thinking they died in a car crash when he was seven, Al is consumed by questions. Will Alabaster Dangermond pass the Agent Trials and find the answers he seeks surrounding the mystery of his parents' tragic death years ago? Join Al and his friends as he unknowingly steps deeper into a web of deception to find everything he once thought true of his life turned upside down.