Paige Nolan’s parents, lauded investigative journalists, have disappeared under mysterious circumstances in Damascus and are presumed dead. After Paige, a Bryn Mawr student, uses her significant martial arts abilities to take out a pair of belligerent “open carry” enthusiasts at an Applebee’s, she attracts the attention of Madden, a handler from a top-secret government agency, who offers Paige a job and suggests that her parents may still be alive. Following some extensive physical training, Paige is off to Moscow to find Sean Raynes, a Snowdenesque hacker/whistleblower, who might be able to help find her parents. Portes (The Fall of Butterflies) gives her multilingual heroine a sharp-edged, love-it-or-hate-it voice that addresses the reader as a friend/coconspirator (“What we are looking at right now, you and I, is a very, and I mean very fancy restaurant in Moscow. This is, like, where Vladimir Putin has his lunch, when he’s not bare-chested fishing, bare-chested invading neighboring countries”). Though this spy caper is a bit slow to ramp up, it’s a blast once it does, and the ending suggests future missions for Paige. Ages 13–up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017 Release date: 06/01/2017 Genre: Children's
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