An everyday kid discovers shocking family secrets.
Scottish teen Charlie Ray never thought of himself as anything out of the ordinary. The most unusual thing to happen to him in the past few months was his father’s walking out on him and his mom. But one night a strange girl emerges from Charlie’s closet, calling herself Daffodil McNugget and claiming to have a message from Charlie’s father. Gerry is revealed to be a retired computer hacker. In fact, both Charlie’s parents were highly paid corporate raiders who would break into big corporations and anonymously leak scandalous information about them to the press. Gerry was recently drawn out of retirement for a job gone wrong: The elusive Manticorps created “Frankie,” artificial intelligence that developed all sorts of deadly weapons to sell. Gerry reprogrammed Frankie and deleted the corporation’s research but left too much of a trail and had to go on the run. Now it’s up to Charlie, Daffodil, and Frankie to clean up the mess. The ensuing adventure is a whirlwind of action and breathless exposition that moves the novel along nicely. The characters pop well enough, given just enough shading to come off as more than two-fisted pulp heroes. While it may not be a beacon of originality, it’s still a lot of fun. Characters are assumed white.
A sharply built adventure with engaging characters. (Thriller. 10-14)