Friday, June 24, 2016
by Sonja Stone
336 pages; ages 12 & up
Holiday House, 2016
If you're looking for a tale of mystery and suspense, adventure and survival, love, coming of age, and the universal battle of good versus evil, then this book is for you. Think: Harry Potter mixed with Bourne Identity....
Sixteen-year old Nadia Riley is a genius with puzzles, and when her calculus teacher challenges her to solve a puzzle, she does it within a minute. It's an equation that she sees as a polyalphabetic cipher... a code puzzle like the ones she's been doing all her life.
When Nadia is offered a spot at Desert Mountain Academy, she jumps at it. But the elite, government-funded boarding school turns out to be a covert CIA program that trains students for Black Ops.
Nadia's schedule includes the usual classes as well as Arabic, martial arts, and target practice. There are also campus-wide competitions called "survival courses" that feel a lot like Outward Bound. Toss in a crush on the team leader and a news leak about a double agent on campus, and you've got the perfect recipe for disaster. Or murder.
This is a fun book to read, a page-turner that will keep you burning the midnight oil til you flip the last page. Wondering when it will be turned into a movie... Review copy from publisher.