Monday, April 11, 2011

Agent 21 by Chris Ryan

Thanks to the popularity of series like Alex Rider and CHERUB, the teenage secret agent or spy is a popular read for young people.  Chris Ryan, who served in the SAS, has tackled this genre with a cracking good read that starts his new series with a roar.

Zak Darke is orphaned after the death of his parents at a conference in Nigeria, and ends up living with the Aunt and Uncle who were looking after him while his parents were away.  It is not a happy place to be, the only bright light being his cousin Ellie.  He feels as though he is being watched, observed, and one day he catches his watcher in the act.  That moment leads to a choice - stay as he is and live the life he is barely living, or he can choose to live a new life away from everything he has ever known.  Needless to say he chooses option B.  After months of gruelling training Zak, now known as Agent 21, is sent on his first mission to Mexico.  All he needs to do is follow instructions and keep his mind clear of distractions - easier said than done. 

Chris Ryan has already written several series for teenagers, and his writing syle is fast paced with plenty of action along the way.  His background with the SAS, and his knowledge of overseas locations brings his books to life in a way that keeps you turning the pages in a race to the end of the book to find out what happens.  Agent 21 is no exception, and Zak Darke is an interesting character.  The best part is that you can imagine there really is a Zak out there, rather than some of the other series of this type where it is not quite possible to suspend your disbelief.  Looking forward to book two in the series, hopefully it is not too far away.

If you like this book then try:
  • Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
  • The recruit by Robert Muchamore
  • Deep end by Sam Hutton
  • Flash flood by Chris Ryan

Reviewed by Brilla 

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