There are a lot of references to spy agencies, which may prove distracting for readers who are less familiar with that lingo, but which will appeal to fans of James Bond, Alex Rider, and the like. This is a nice coming-of-age story with an unlikely hero, and it is a tight plot. We don't get a lot of background or in-depth character description, but that keeps the book short enough to hold the attention of the boy readers, who are clearly the target audience. However, the most compelling character is definitely Erica, a ninja-like girl who steals the show, and Ben's heart.
For a book that seems a lot like so many others I've read, this still stands out for its quick pace, surprising outcomes, and good writing.