Reviews /

S.T.E.A.L.T.H: Access Denied

Authored by Jason Rohan
Published by Nosy Crow

Tagged , , , , ,

8:52am: Sam and Arun are on their way to class when they are stopped by Donna, who asks Arun why there are police at his house. Together, they run out of school, where the attempted kidnapping of Arun takes place.

9:16am: The three of them escape unharmed, and head to Arun’s house, where they see unmarked police cars. Using their wit, they distract the police and sneak in undetected.

9.52am: MI6 arrive at the house, and the three children realise they are in a little deeper than they had perhaps bargained for. Arun’s dad has been kidnapped, and the reason soon becomes clear – he is the brains behind MANDROID, the world’s foremost national defence and rescue operations piece of technology. But who has taken him? And what can the three children do about it?

The story continues at a high-octane pace, using the TV series 24 as its guide. Events unfold quickly, from shoot-outs to police chases and more and chapters keep us on track by using the time as their titles.

The children are well represented here – this isn’t a gang of miscreants, or your typical ‘bad crowd’; instead, they are intelligent, determined, resourceful and, for the most part, in charge. The world into which they enter is definitely adult. There is double-crossing, weaponised violence, monetary greed and power grabs, so it is good to see a group of children following their instincts and thinking on their feet.

Fans of Alex Rider need not wonder if this is a book for them – it most definitely is. Similarly, I often have conversations with children I teach about how they find it frustrating that it takes a long time to ‘get into’ certain books. This does not apply here, and I will be recommending it to them.

From the get-go, there is always something happening, and often, many somethings. There is little time to take breath. Discussions might be around spy gadgets, the morality of having a machine such as MANDROID (is it ever really a good thing?), or what power can do to people when they have it.

An action-packed espionage thriller that promises to be an interesting series going forward!