August 22, 2013
Agent Colt Shore: Domino 29 - by Axel Avian
First-time author Avian blew me away with his character, Colt Shore. This teen enjoys hanging out with his friends and doing normal stuff, but when a mysterious stranger, a slick Bond-like gentleman with a fancy car, shows up in his house one day and announces that they are leaving for Colt's new school, everything changes. Of course it is a secret school for young members of an international organization that fights bad guys... but it's not for spies. An "agent" is tasked with supporting the good guys rather than hunting down the baddies, and that's what Colt begins training to do. A series of surprising events and revelations carry him into places he never expected to go, saving people he never expected to meet, and making choices he never wanted to make. It is a thrilling adventure, with rock and roll, cool gadgets, and wild stunts. Yes, even a hint of romance, too.
Best of all, this book is a true original in a genre packed with copycats. Alex Rider is the king of teen spies, but Colt Shore beats him out in several ways. Colt is down-to-earth, humble, and does what is needed without thinking of himself. He is an Everyman hero, a character that you can identify with and that you will cheer for from cover to cover. I could hardly put this book down, and suspect I'm not the only one. Despite its psychedelic but somewhat unappealing cover, this book is a keeper.