Hey, hey, hey! Welcome back to the Big Kids Book Club.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time to jump right into another Mid-Week Review!
Today’s book: S.T.E.A.L.T.H Access Denied by Jason Rohan
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Release Date: 07/04/2022
Suggested Age Range: 8+ Middle Grade
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Robots, Sci-Fi
Star Rating: 🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖(out of 5)
They’re in a race to save his dad… and the world.
When his dad disappears, Arun Lal is amazed to discover that he was secretly working on a classified project and has been kidnapped by people intent on stealing it. Along with his geeky best friend Sam and tough-talking Donna, Arun is plunged into a race to rescue his father and find his creation before the thieves can turn it into a destructive global weapon…
Full of thrilling high-octane car chases and more, this is the first in an explosive new action-adventure middle grade series. Perfect for readers aged 9+ and fans of Alex Rider, CHERUB and Mission: Impossible. Arun, Donna and Sam are ordinary school kids with an extraordinary secret. They are S.T.E.A.L.T.H., a crack team of agents in charge of the most cutting-edge piece of tech the world doesn’t know exists: MANDROID. Always flying under the radar, they solve crimes, prevent disasters and rescue the innocent – and they STILL have to get their homework in on time!
S.T.E.A.L.T.H Access denied is a story that really encapsulates the excitement and fun of Alex Rider, without the necessarily overly elaborate plots of a boy-spy/secret agent. Instead, the story begins as Arun skips school with his friends Donna and Sam, with the trio coming face to face with a mysterious stranger within the first few paragraphs.
This sets us up for what is a roaringly fast paced action thriller, sort of like the drama “24”, with a race against time to save Arun’s father and to save the world from imminent danger.
The banter between the three main characters is strong, as is their general dynamics. Each of them have their own personality, while offering something specific to the table – be that Arun puzzle solving, Donna quick thinking, or Sam’s technical knowledge. The group works well and I think most readers will find their favourite among them in a sort of Percy Jackson or HP, middle grade trio protagonist groups way.
The core plot is involved, exciting, and it really keeps up at pacy beat – never allowing for the book to drag, but then never being too skinny on the details or the description. Together with the blend of narrative, mainly from Arun’s POV, but with small interludes from alternative POVs, you get a full sense of the chaos unfolding before them.
The final third of the book reveals what is the premise moving into the future books in the series, with the arrival of MANDROID, and what this means for Arun and his friends. In a sense this is very much a prequel book, laying down the valuable groundwork for even bigger and better books to come, but that doesn’t make it any less special! A great read.
A must buy for: Fans of Alex Rider or Thunderbirds.