Bruchac (Dragon Castle) delivers a fun twist on werewolf stories mixed with some mad science and espionage. Luke King’s black ops father spent years teaching him various survival skills, and Luke’s heightened senses also come in handy. When Luke’s father is kidnapped, Luke discovers that these powers are only the tip of the iceberg. As he investigates his father’s disappearance, Luke learns more about his real heritage as a beast and about the mysterious goings-on at the Maxico corporation, which has set up shop in town. Bruchac adeptly incorporates characters of various heritages: Luke is Native American; his best friend/crush, Meena, is Pakistani; and the Sunglass Mafia—a group of students who are more than they seem—are from eastern Russia. Luke also possesses a hefty amount of cultural and political awareness to go with his combat and espionage expertise, which serve him well (and make him a bit too perfect). There are some minor shortcuts—notably Luke’s inconsistent tendency to disrupt some electrical objects, but not others—but the action and Luke’s narration carry the book nicely. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2011 Release date: 10/01/2011 Genre: Children's
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