Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Apparently, Teenage Girls Make the BEST Spies...

You know how I said I was doing a lot of spy book reading lately? Yeah. This is a really long post.

First up,

Down to the Wire Shannon Greenland

Y'all know I loved the first in this series, Model Spy. The Specialists are back, but this time, it's Wirenut's case.

But GiGi is still narrating. The action starts with how Wirenut was conned into joining the Specialists, and then jumps to Gigi's narration of the action picking up where the last book left off. It's a little weird.

Basically, the guy who hacked Wirenut's family to death is hiding some top-secret biological weapon in the handle of the sword that was used to hack his family to death. Wirenut's the only one who can break into the museums to get the clues to lead to the sword, GiGi's the only one who can decode the clues...

Murder. Mayhem, some girls, some kissing, and a whole lot of David-related angst.

All the techno babble is utter crap, and the countries are made up but... I still get totally sucked into these books and can't wait for the rest of the series. Excellent titles for reading while lying in the hammock on a hot day.

The Squad: Perfect Cover Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Toby Klein is the ultimate slacker, so why is she being invited to try out for Varsity Cheerleading?! Something weird is going on, especially since Toby's cheer invites are being written in code.

Fast forward. Toby's on the squad, only cheerleading is a cover for a group of elite teen CIA operatives. Cheerleaders are peppy and dumb, right? Wrong, but it's the perfect cover for girls like Toby with ninja-like martial arts skills and hacker skills to beat GiGi's from The Specialists. Sadly, being on the squad means getting a Level 6 makeover (which means that the cheerleading twins have come in and completely replaced Toby's closet.) Sure, her new trendy belt buckle doubles as a camera, but her new highlights are just that, highlights. And Toby's dorky brother? In loooooooooooooooooove with cheerleaders and thinks he is quite the ladies man. (He's not.)

Toby is now one of those girls. Yes, catching terrorists is cool, but she does still have to learn how to do pyramids and something called a herkie...

Here's why I love this: The technology is vaguely plausible (in that James Bond way). Also, Toby does NOT appreciate going from invisible girl to overnight in-crowd. She doesn't handle it well. Toby's voice is perfect sarcasm. I love her.

Example (Hayley is pissed off that she didn't make the squad and Toby did. She's been spreading gossip and the rest of the squad keeps telling Toby to ignore it.):

"Well, I heard that she's a complete lezbo who's sleeping with one of the other girls on the squad. Can you say casting couch?"

I had to hand it to Hayley Hoffman. She was creative and she must have had an excellent command of acoustics, because she pitched her voice just loud enough so that I could hear her, but not loud enough that Tara, Bubbles, or April could. I thought about just sucking it up and taking my place at the center table, but I couldn't quite bring myself to turn the other cheek, because the fact that Hayley was using that particular term as an insult meant that her words weren't just insulting me. With that in mind, I waled toward the JV table, ready to draw blood, metaphorically speaking. Probably.

That awesome, awesome voice continues in:

The Squad: Killer Spirit Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Check it out:

Less than an hour ago, all I'd wanted was detention. Now, I was nominated for homecoming court and going to the big dance with the hottest guy in the school. Somewhere out there, God was laughing at me. I was sure of it.

And that sets up the plot. There are a ton of baddies in town, and the Squad isn't the only crew tracking them. The Big Guys keep trying to take away the case and Brooke's trying to keep control. Plus, Toby's on homecoming court and Noah's trying to do anything possible to make her queen. Someone's trying to kill Toby. If the mission succeeds and Toby survives, Brooke will take her out if she steals the crown... what's a cheerleader to do?

What I liked about this is the stakes were a little higher, but we also learned some info on Brooke that rounded her out a bit as a character.

I'm looking forward to future volumes, but can't find if any are forthcoming... :(

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You Ally Carter

Cammie Morgan goes to en elite boarding school. Everyone else thinks it's where the daughters of the country's richest go, but really, it's a boarding school for spies in training.

They only take the best and the brightest and they take classes in foreign language and covert operations. When they grow up, the NSA and CIA are ready to take them.

Cammie Morgan may speak over 14 languages, but none of them is "boy." When she starts falling for a boy from town, it's up to her and her friends to use all their training to find out if he likes her not.

This is fun. I really like that Cammie and Co. don't go on any missions to save the world. Unlike these other books, where kids are thrown into hardcore situations with only a month or two of training, Cammie is getting a complete education and not going on any serious missions until then.

Not that she can't find other uses for her skills...

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy Ally Carter

After what happened last semester, something new is coming to Gallagher Academy. Boys. Boys will be taking classes and training with the girls.

But who are these boys and why are they really here? And who's been leaking Gallagher information to the outside world?

And what could be more mortifying than running into your ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend while you're wearing a comms unit that your entire class and teacher can hear over?!

If you liked the first, you'll like this. More action, more intrigue, even though I guess the ending, I still liked reading it.

James Bond, you're on. Girls are coming to get you.

No comments: