CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 1. . . .September 5, 2014
Double You. (The Seven Sequels).
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2014.
256 pp., trade pbk., pdf & epub, $10.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0534-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0535-4 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0536-1 (epub).
Grades 9-11 / Ages 14-16.
Review by Amy Dawley.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
I snapped open the small blade and frantically started cutting up the shoes, ripping them in half just beyond the steel toes. The knife was sharp, but the leather was good and the rubber soles were thick. I sawed with everything I had. My hands were trembling. Soon I had to stand up to work. In a minute or two, I would be dead.
I fumbled the boots once I had them cut in half and dropped both of them. Oh, God! I could barely reach them now. I couldn’t turn sideways anymore. There was only a few inches between me and the walls. It felt like my chest and back would be touching both walls if I took a deep breath. I wondered what it would feel like, and sound like, when my bones cracked.
My hands still shaking, I tore the steel toes out of the boots. They were each about four inches long, maybe a touch more. I lined them up so that they formed about an eight-inch length of extremely hard steel. I fitted them together so they wouldn’t shift when the walls connected with them. Then I put them between the walls and prayed.
With my back against one wall, there was about an inch left between the other wall and my chest.
Less than an inch.
The walls groaned.
Half an inch.
A fraction of an inch from my body, the walls ground to a half, held apart by the remarkable steel toes.
I felt like crying again.
Action, adventure, and intrigue: Adam and his six cousins are at it again in this follow-up series to the original “Seven The Series”. When Adam and his six cousins find their grandfather’s hidden stash of large sums of money and foreign passports at their family’s cottage, they again find themselves unravelling the mysterious life of their legendary grandfather. As Adam and his cousins are searching through the hidden artifacts, Adam secretly takes an envelope that once belonged to his grandfather—it was from Bermuda and contained a portion of a cryptic message naming Adam’s grandfather as a liar and a traitor. Disturbed by the notion that his grandfather could be a traitor, Adam takes the letter and a large sum of money and climbs aboard a flight to Bermuda, determined to clear his grandfather’s name and get to the bottom of this terrible accusation.
Double You is one book in “The Seven Sequels”, a collection of seven linked stories about Adam and his cousins that are sequels to the original “Seven The Series” in which Adam appeared in Last Message. Like the first collection of books, “The Seven Sequels” each follow a different cousin on his adventures trying to solve the mystery of their grandfather. Just like the first set of novels, the sequels can all be read in any order as the stories happen simultaneously and separately from one another. With Double You that is part mystery and part adventure, author Shane Peacock took inspiration from the spy story genre and well-known authors like Ian Fleming who penned the James Bond novels. Teens unfamiliar with James Bond and other spy stories or movies might not get all of the references, and this may make understanding some plot devices in the Double You somewhat difficult. However, teen readers who know and love the James Bond stories and movies will enjoy the novel and find many similarities and intricacies linking back to Fleming’s work within the storyline.
As with other spy stories, particularly those in the James Bond canon, the female characters are lacking, and it is unfortunate that the main female character, Angel Dahl, is stuck within this trope. Numerous mentions of her body—whether it is others judging or her judging herself based on her body—are made throughout the book. There is a distracting disparity between Angel being represented as a strong and capable character one moment and then needing saving the next. For example, Angel is capable of taking down a bad guy thug using a spy martial art that she has taught herself, but then is unsure of herself and her abilities in other situations and shows deference to the strength and ability of the main character, Adam. This book is undoubtedly targeted to older teen boys, but it is an overall detriment to the story that Angel’s character is not more thoroughly and realistically developed.
Double You is a title best suited for mid-to-older high school students. Purchase this series if the first series circulated well in your library, or if there is a lack of readable titles in genres other than supernatural and dystopian fantasy. As with “Seven The Series”, readers who are fond of action and adventure series like Alex Rider, Maximum Ride, or C.H.E.R.U.B. will find something to like in these novels.
Amy Dawley is the Customer Services Librarian II at the Gabriola Island branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.
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