The Terminals

Royce Scott Buckingham. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-01155-8
Buckingham makes his U.S. YA debut with this ambitious yet uneven thriller, in which a group of teens diagnosed with a terminal condition get the chance to be globe-trotting secret agents. Their newest recruit, 19-year-old Cam Cody, is an athlete with one year to live, due to a brain tumor. Hoping to make the last year of his life count, Cam eagerly joins the mysterious organization that promises to train and utilize him. Soon he and nine others are fighting pirates, saving lives, and taking down foreign dictators. As Cam’s companions gradually die in the line of duty, he grows uneasy, and when a survivor of the previous “class” of spies shows up, he realizes that nothing is what it seems. Buckingham sets up the premise well and offers surprises at every turn, but this story is weakened by distasteful gender undertones, including Cam’s tendency to see every girl he encounters in terms of physicality and hookup potential, and the way female characters are killed off. An intriguing but problematic story. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 10/14/2014
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-250-02105-2
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