Friday, October 10, 2008

Spotlight on Spy Novels and Thrillers

Background: Since Anthony Horowitz came on the scene with the Alex Rider series in 2001, the YA book scene has exploded with some fantastic spy titles. These young James Bonds are much different than the spy heroes of previous generations. They live in a world filled with threats of terrorism and biological warfare. Technology is at the forefront of the genre, as spies battle both electronic and human enemies. Girls have entered the scene as well, as spy heroes rather than accomplices. Read further for some examples of the exciting books that are represent the NEW teen spy novel. Search the library's catalog, keyword "spy stories" for more books like these.

Little Brother
by Cory Doctorow

The much talked-about new novel, Little Brother, opens with an act of terrorism on a frightening scale: the Bay Bridge is destroyed, with a devastating loss of life. The real impact though, is afterward, when a government overreaction turns life in the City by the Bay into a nightmarish 1984-type society where every movement is tracked, every word recorded, every thought considered suspicious. Marcus is caught up in the paranoia, and an innocent game ends up getting him and three friends arrested and imprisoned without trial, brutally interrogated, then released with a warning: tell no one.

by Anthony Horowitz

The book that started it all! Readers will cheer for Alex Rider, the 14-year-old hero of British author Horowitz's spy thriller (the first in the series). When his guardian and uncle, Ian, is mysteriously killed, Alex discovers that his uncle was not the bank vice-president he purported to be, but rather a spy for the British government. Now the government wants Alex to take over his uncle's mission: investigating Sayle Enterprises, the makers of a revolutionary computer called Stormbreaker. Readers will race through Alex's adventures, from a high-speed bike chase to a death-defying dance with a Portuguese man-of-war.

by Andy McNab

Watch out Alex Rider... Danny Watts is here!
Orphaned Londoner Danny Watts wants nothing to do with his estranged
grandfather, a traitor who went MIA years ago, until the British military offers Danny a proposition: find his grandfather and he'll receive a scholarship. He thinks the offer is his only chance for a decent future, and with help from his best friend, Elena, he sets off to find his relative and the truth. What, and who, he finds endangers his life and his family. With its brisk plot and unpredictable characters, this story of intrigue rises above many standard adventure stories.

Spy High: Mission One
by A.J. Butcher

The six members of Bond team are on a mission that may mean life or death for them or for thousands of innocent people. They are students at Spy High, an elite school that not only teaches them academics, but also instructs them on hand-to-hand combat, infiltrating computer systems, and proper use of shock suits.

Live and Let Shop
by Michael P. Spradlin

Delinquent Beverly Hills princess Rachel Buchanan is shipped off to the spooky Blackthorn Academy. She's determined to find out what secrets the school hides in the first entry of a new, funny and fast-paced series of international espionage with a supernatural twist.