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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2014 Gr 6–8—"It was the day Mom took the coast road to school. The day I tried to save a suicidal husky. One day before I would begin to wonder if my father was still alive." So begins Michael Malone's journey and this first installment in the "UNICORNE Files." Michael's father disappeared three years ago without a trace. Lately, Michael's been experiencing lightheadedness and shortness of breath, which the doctors diagnose as asthma. Even more strangely, Michael begins to notice after these episodes is that his reality has changed—his sister, who never played the instrument before, is a violinist, and an au pair is suddenly part of the family but his mother and sister act as if she's always been there. Baffled, Michael soon meets Amadeus Klimt, the leading member of a covert organization called UNICORNE. Klimt tells Michael that his father may still be alive, but in order to find out for sure, Michael must agree to take on an assignment for the secret agency. This book will hook readers from page one and won't let up until the dramatic conclusion. D'Lacey manages to make the implausible seem possible. While many questions are left unanswered, they are likely to be answered in the next installment. Fans of action-packed adventure will devour this new series.—Kathy Kirchoefer, Henderson County Public Library, NC - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2014 When Michael discovers he can alter reality, he catches the attention of the secret society UNICORNE. Its representative, Mr. Klimt, claims to have information about the disappearance of Michael’s father. He offers to share information in exchange for Michael’s help, but Michael soon discovers a deadly secret lurking in his own town. From ghosts to mental powers to dragons to androids, best-selling author d’Lacey throws a lot of things into this first volume of the UFiles series. The plethora of ingredients means that no one element, including the characters, is explored in very much detail, but the story moves along quickly and keeps readers guessing. Though Michael spends much of this volume confused as he trips over one bizarre twist after another, and he and his sister occasionally seem too adult for their years, they are likable and readers will have no trouble rooting for them. Fans of d’Lacey’s fantasy-heavy Last Dragon Chronicles series may be caught off guard by the sci-fi focus, but with tantalizing adventures yet to come, it’s likely they will stick around for future installments. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: D’Lacey has a built-in audience after his Last Dragon Chronicles series hit the New York Times best-seller list. Don’t be surprised if they turn out for this series, too. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2014 Michael can’t initially figure out how he saved the dog-one moment he was observing a dog at risk and the next instant he was holding it out of harm’s way. It turns out that Michael has an ability to alter reality, which makes him valuable to a group called UNICORNE, a group with which his father had been secretly associated before his disappearance three years earlier. Michael’s first task on the team isn’t, as he’d hoped, to begin searching for his father but rather to investigate the rescued dog, his deceased owner, and a mystery around a classmate whom the dog seems to find particularly appealing. Michael’s sardonic younger sister provides a refreshing counterpoint to his general earnest tone, as does the sexy, dangerous Chantelle, a member of UNICORNE who is masquerading as household help to keep an eye on Michael. The plot’s a little overstuffed, but presumably future volumes in the series will sort it all out for the reader; in the meantime, the snappy pace and amiable protagonist who knows he is making things up on the fly, and notes so with wry resignation, make for a lively and enjoyable read. AS - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.