Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Andy McNab
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Random House UK, 2010   ISBN: 978-0552560634

Ethan is seventeen years old, and he has no idea what he wants to do with his life. Though his family is not exactly poor, they are not well off either, and university isn’t really an option. Ethan is considering joining the Royal Marines when he finishes school, thinking that at least in the military he will have some direction in his life.

Then suddenly Ethan’s life changes direction. He is walking home when a young man jumps off Ethan’s high-rise apartment building, parachutes down to the street, and lands right in front of Ethan. The young man, Johnny, explains that he is part of a skydiving team, and when Ethan checks the YouTube video of Johnny’s jump, he finds out that the skydiving school has a job opportunity.

Ethan needs a summer job anyway, so he applies for the one at the skydiving school. Soon he is immersed in the skydiving life, watching Johnny and his friends leaping out of planes, and wishing that he too could learn how to skydive. He is thrilled when Sam, the instructor, offers him a free tandem jump. Ethan thoroughly enjoys the experience and he wishes he had the financial means to do the Accelerated Freefall course so that he can get his certification. There is not way though that he can afford the fees for the course. Ethan is thrilled when Sam explains that he has arranged for Ethan to be able to take the course at no cost to himself. What Ethan doesn’t know is that Johnny and the rest of the team are not what they seem to be. Not at all.

In this first title in his new series, Andy McNab gives his readers a thrilling story that is thoroughly enjoyable. He perfectly captures the excitement that a young man experiences when he learns how to skydive, and when he discovers that he is a part of something that is bigger than himself.