Synopses & Reviews
A new series featuring the next generation of James Bonds kicks off. To the outside world, the New England boarding school known as Devereaux Academy looks no different than any other exclusive private school. But to first-year students, it goes by the name Spy High.
"Take a lightweight YA tale featuring a hint of romance and angst. Add a good dose of TV's Alias, fold in some Buffy the Vampire Slayer and season lightly with elements of Artemis Fowl the result is this overstuffed novel, first in a new action-adventure series. Some decades in the future, six teenagers from various walks of life are recruited to attend the prestigious Deveraux Academy. They soon find out why the institution is known by its students as 'Spy High,' as they are assigned to be teammates on Bond Team (yes, an homage to that Bond). A typical day of the teens' rigorous academic schedule involves learning about laser weapons, disarming bombs and maneuvering a mode of transportation known as a SkyBike. When Bond Team is sent on a special expedition into the Wildscape, they encounter the Moreau-like Dr. Averill Frankenstein, who claims to be a descendant of Mary Shelley's creation (he calls her work 'an authentic account of the greatest scientific experiment ever attempted'). Clearly influenced by the big and small screen, Butcher keeps the action at warp speed with lots of quick scene changes, and bits of fast-flying, but not very believable dialogue. Unfortunately, confusing chapter openings and a barrage of characters and creatures hamper the book's rhythm. Characters remain unformed, coming across mostly as devices to deliver smart-alecky repartee. Die-hard action fans will likely welcome something new, but casual readers may prefer a video of Spy Kids. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
As students at a special high school that trains them to be secret agents, six teenagers struggle to complete the training exercises as a team before being sent out into the field to sink or swim.
About the Author
AJ Butcher has been aware of the power of words since avoiding a playground beating at age seven because he "told good stories." He's been trying to do the same thing ever since. He currently works at a girls' grammar school in Dorset, England.