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From the Double Vision series, volume 1

by F.T. Bradley

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-210437-3
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

A middle school troublemaker turns secret agent.

After a disastrous field trip, Linc Baker is offered an opportunity to make things right for himself and his family. In order to make their legal problems disappear, Linc must travel halfway around the world and impersonate a look-alike secret agent. Unfortunately, the agent he has to pretend to be is none other than Benjamin Green, junior operative extraordinaire. Almost from the moment his plane touches down in Paris, everything becomes a lot more complicated. Doppelgangers abound in the form of double agents and a set of secret, and possibly evil, Leonardo da Vinci paintings. If Linc can just see past his double vision, he might be able to protect his family from financial ruin and save the world along the way. Focusing as much on what it claims not to be (a rehash of Percy Jackson or Spider-Man) as what it is (a watered-down Alex Rider), this first installment in what hints to be a new series suffers from a lack of originality, not to mention believability. Its sole strength is Linc. His self-professed laziness and bumbling, good-natured manner might be enough to keep this story fresh.

Strong character. Weak premise. (Adventure. 8-12)