Bound To Stay Bound

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 Alexander's army
 Author: D'Lacey, Chris


 Publisher:  Scholastic Press
 Pub Year: 2015

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 289 p.,  21 cm.

 BTSB No: 281669 ISBN: 9780545608800
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Subjects:
 Mystery fiction
 Secret societies -- Fiction
 Supernatural -- Fiction
 Monsters -- Fiction
 Adventure fiction

Price: $19.81

Summary:
Michael Malone is assigned to investigate a local comic shop by the mysterious UNICORNE agency because they are displaying a comic book with a disturbingly familiar heroine, but he soon realizes that the sinister shop hides an invisible army come to life, with a menacing maniac at it's head, and worse--he does not know if he can trust his fellow agents.

Series:
UNICORNE Files


Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.40
   Points: 8.0   Quiz: 177663

Reviews:
   Kirkus Reviews (02/15/15)
   School Library Journal (-) (07/01/15)
   Booklist (04/01/15)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 04/01/2015 Michael continues the search for his father in this second volume of the UNICORNE Files series, and it is a quest laden with suspense and action. A distinct eeriness permeates the plot, which jump-starts with an invisible battalion of soldiers and Michael’s dead friend, Freya, who has reappeared as a shape-shifting crow. As a UNICORNE agent, Michael’s reality-altering talent involves him in the investigation of a suspicious new Crow Girl comic book and trendy Tommy trading cards that feature faceless WWII soldiers. Aside from dealing with the supernatural, the purpose behind UNICORNE remains cloaked in mystery and closely tied to both Crow Girl’s sinister creator and Michael’s missing father. Michael’s personal struggles are every bit as grueling as the external threats, pitting friends and family against the demanding agency. Some dialogue and early instances of suspense feel forced, but later twists more than make up for it. Featuring telekinesis, a superintelligent android, and an insidious “boffin,” this sci-fi adventure’s final reveal will leave readers wanting more. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 07/01/2015 Gr 4–7—The second installment in the series, Alexander's Army picks up where A Dark Inheritance (Scholastic, 2014) left off. At the end of the first book, Michael is visiting the grave of his dead girlfriend Freya—or is she really dead? In the beginning of book two, Michael becomes convinced that Freya has returned from the dead as a crow and is following him around. His suspicions are confirmed when there is a bizarre attack by a murder of crows when he and his mother are at a local garden center. Michael, a rather unwilling agent for the clandestine organization Unicorne, is taxed with another mission. This time he must find out why there are comic books in a local store with Freya's image on the cover and no story inside. A set of collector cards from the school library book fair are the key to what creepiness is happening on the second floor of the comic book store. Michael visits the undersea craft that houses Unicorne and discovers Freya in a tank being converted from crow to girl. What he finds later in another tank stuns him and his sister Josie, who is pulled unwittingly into the plot. More clues about his missing father's whereabouts are revealed to Michael, but can he trust the source? Everyone seems to be lying to him, including Freya, returned to her girl form but still a member of the undead. Although action, mystery, bad guys, and scariness abound, this second book in the series seems disjointed. Readers may be confused by the long list of characters that appear and disappear as quickly as the incoming tides. Staunch fans of D'Lacey's "Last Dragon Chronicles" may be willing to sit through this book to find out if Michael ever finds his father, but chances are high they'll lose interest by the end. VERDICT Only purchase if the first book in the series has found loyal readers.—Kathy Kirchoefer, Henderson County Public Library, NC - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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