Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Agent 21

Agent 21

Chris Ryan
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Random House UK, 2011   ISBN: 1849410070

Zak Darke has the normal life of a London school boy, and then his parents go on a trip to Nigeria to attend a conference. While they are there, both die in a bizarre case of food poisoning that suddenly and inexplicably takes the lives of fifty people.

Zak’s uncle and aunt reluctantly take Zak in, and the only thing that makes his life in their home bearable is the presence of his cousin Ellie. Ellie is kind and she does her best to make up for the way her parents treat Zak

For several weeks now, Zac has had the feeling that someone is watching him. Finally, on a Saturday afternoon, Zac confronts the man who is following him and the man, Michael, offers to tell Zac why his parents died. As Zac has always suspected, theirs was not a straightforward case of food poisoning.

Zac goes to meet Michael again and though Michael does not tell Zac about his parents, he does offer the thirteen-year-old a job. Zac can hardly believe his ears. A job? Michael explains that he works for a secret government agency that recruits suitable teenagers to serve as agents. If Zac chooses to join the agency, he will have to leave his old life behind, and he will never be able to return to it.

After some thought Zac decides to take on the job. He is not happy living with his uncle and aunt and though he will miss Ellie, he is desperate to find out what happened to his parents. Michael knows the answer, and Zac will work for him until he finds out what he wants to know. Little does he know that in less than a year he, Zac Darke, will be going to Mexico to help take down the kingpin of a powerful drug cartel.

In this first Zac Darke title, readers will meet a boy who takes on a job that challenges him in many ways. He becomes a part of something that is bigger than he is, and he has to come to terms with the choices that he makes.

Exciting and well written, this title is sure to appeal to readers who are drawn to thrillers and spy stories.