Friday, November 3, 2023

Today's read... City Spies: Mission Manhattan by James Ponti

I don't know what it is about this series, but every time I get one of the books in my hands, the Mission Impossible song plays in my head. Yep, today's read is all about spies, and if it's like any of the first four books in this series, it's high action mixed with character spy fun pure. Let's just dive right in because maybe that will keep the song from repeating again and again and again in my head.

City Spies #5
by James Ponti
Middle Grade Spy Fiction
432 pages
ages 8 to 12

FEBRUARY 6th, 2024!!!

The City Spies head to the Big Apple when a credible threat is made to a young climate activist who is scheduled to speak in front of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly. With Rio acting as alpha and a new member in their ranks, the team’s mission to protect a fellow teen takes them on an exciting adventure in, around, and even under the greatest city in the world as they follow leads to the outer boroughs, the UN Headquarters, and even the usually off-limits stacks that extend deep under the main branch of the New York Public Library.

GOODREADS   /    B&N    /    AMAZON


This is book five in the series, and when a series gets this far, I'm always afraid the tales will start getting repetitive. While the best attributes from this series continue in this read, it's as exciting and unpredictable as the first four.

The City Spies find themselves on a mission to protect a young and very popular climate activist, who is on her way to speak before the United Nations General Assembly. But even during a protest appearance before her speech, a deadly threat lurks in the crowd. Someone is determined to stop her, and the City Spies need to stop them. Plus, the team has a new member, Rio, which might be a problem or a blessing. Either way, the team is determined to do their duty no matter how sticky the situations get.

There are reads, which flow extremely smoothly, and let the story perform its magic. This is one of those. The tale begins with the latest mission...and a bit of humor. The personalities of each character immediately shine as they work seamlessly together in a quickly increasingly difficult mission. And yet, that doesn't mean that each one doesn't have their own difficulties or flaws. The author manages to maintain a great balance of action and emotional depth to make the characters interesting, their interactions fun, and the tension high. It makes for an easy read, which flies by.

While this book slides right in with the series, several aspects give it just enough of an original atmosphere to hold its own. Centering the mission around a international climate activist was a surprising and fun twist. It did have me thinking of Greta right away, but it took its own interesting turns to keep this only as a quick, first thought. The security issues the group faces were interesting, as was the dynamic Rio brings as the new member of the group. 

It doesn't seem like this will be the last book in the series, and it will be fun to see what this group goes up against next.

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