Do you always do the right thing? Do you have what it takes to become an Agent of the Glass?
That’s the question “Silas,” the pseudonymous, omniscient narrator who comments at the end of most chapters, poses readers. He’s a Level-Two Agent in an organization that has fought “chaos, hatred, and greed” for over 800 years. New York City seventh-grader Andover Llewellyn does the right thing when he returns over $200,000 of bank-robbery loot he’s found. Almost immediately, Andy’s recruited for the Agency, acquiring a dog with unusual abilities and a piece of old glass that shows an evil person’s aura. He’s enrolled at a private school, Wellbourne Academy, and assigned a student adviser, Winter Neale. She turns out to be intimately involved in a plot to permanently remove compassion from the human character. There’s an evil broadcasting company, a belligerent talk show host (in his personal life, Andy’s dad), and an angry blogger who helps expose the plot but suffers collateral damage. The Agency adults represent diversity around the world; the teens are apparently white except for the blogger, Jensen Huntley, who is black. With topical themes, high-speed action, and a neat resolution, this is likely to be a popular read. The emphasis on good character—especially compassion, courage, integrity, and discipline—is nice to see.
A suspenseful series opener with an admirably heroic protagonist. (Thriller. 9-13)