cover image Mission: In Search of the Time and Space Machine

Mission: In Search of the Time and Space Machine

Deborah Abela, , illus. by George O'Connor. . S&S/Wiseman, $9.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-689-87357-7

This unabashedly corny caper launches the paper-over-board Spy Force series starring Maxine Remy. The lonely 11-year-old lives in New York with her mother, a workaholic publicist who never seems to have time for her. Max escapes reality by recording in her notebook the "Chronicles of Spy Force," which follow the heroic feats of her alter-ego, Alex Crane, "the world's greatest mastermind against evildoers." When Max's father, who lives in Los Angeles, gets a job directing a big movie and can't spend the summer with his daughter as planned, she is sent to stay with her aunt and uncle on their chicken farm. Uncle Ben, a scientist, has just invented a device that can transport matter (he had previously worked in London with his brother Francis to create a machine capable of transporting people through both space and time). Max gets to put her spy talents to the test when she uses Ben's new invention to transport her and Linden, a boy who lives near the farm, to London. The narrative grows a bit convoluted and lumbering as they track down Francis and learn that his work on the Time and Space Machine has been thwarted by a villainous, high-ranking government official, who kidnaps Max and Linden in a ploy to get Francis to cooperate with him. The tale ends predictably, with the Matter Transporter whisking the kids out of harm's way and back to the farm. Due the same month is Mission: Spy Force Revealed (ISBN 0-689-87358-1). Ages 8-12. (July)