Alexander's Army

by D'Lacey, Chris,
Series: The Unicorne files ; . 2 Physical details: 275 . : ill. ; 20 cm. ISBN:9781909489677 (paperback) :. Fiction notes: Click to open in new window
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

After the success of his first assignment from the UNICORNE agency, fourteen-year-old Michael Malone is given another unexplained mystery to solve. When UNICORNE detect strange goings-on in a comic book shop, Michael is sent to investigate - a task which is made all the more difficult by allies he can no longer trust, and an enemy he can't actually see .

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

From UFILES #2: ALEXANDER'S ARMY "I told you, Michael, the multiverse has infinite possibilities and you have the power to jump across it, just like a freight train switching tracks." Klimt picked up the cube again and randomized the colors. "The limiting factor is your ability to maintain control of the shifts; the observable friction is simply your lack of belief in your gift." "Curse," I said. "It's a curse, not a gift. Look what it's done to Freya." "We will take care of Freya," he said. I didn't like the sound of that. "How? In what way?" "Be calm, Michael. She will not be harmed, but she must be controlled." "How?" I said again. He tapped the chair. "We have secure facilities--" "You're gonna cage her? Hah! Are you mad?" "She is dangerous. You witnessed that this morning." "I won't betray her," I growled. "She was my friend once." My closest friend. The only girl apart from Josie I'd ever really liked. And now she scared the wits out of me. "I'm not gonna set her up or lead her to you." "Trust me, we are capable of tracking down Freya. In the meantime I want you to investigate another situation. Something rather intriguing has developed, which appears to be connected to the shift you generated. Another . . . force has acted on the changes you made to the boundaries of the temporal equilibrium." I spread my hands. "In English, please." He reached into his jacket and pulled out what looked like a comic book. "Do you know a store in Holton called 'The Fourth Enchantment'?" "Yes," I said, though I'd never been there. It was a tiny place off the main mall where you could buy any number of comic books or action figures. A hang-out for nerdy kids who dug superheroes. I'd read a lot of science fiction books, but Spiderman had never really been my thing. Klimt leaned forward and handed me the comic. "This was prominently displayed in the window yesterday." I looked at the cover and my heart all but stopped. The comic was called "The Amazing Crow Girl." And there, on the front, was a pretty good likeness of Freya. Wild hair. Wings spread. Crows around her, flying. Trapped beneath her feet was a limp human figure. Me. Excerpted from Alexander's Army by Chris d'Lacey All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-7-Michael Malone tried to quit UNICORNE, a secret organization dedicated to unearthing supernatural events, after another agent was killed, but he's been roped into another mystery. Michael is more suspicious than ever about UNICORNE and especially curious about new information concerning his missing father and the appearance of a crow that bears a striking resemblance to Freya, an agent he believed had died. Then a local comic book shop sets up a window display of comics portraying Freya as a crow. Coincidence? UNICORNE thinks not. While the action and mystery have potential, some plot twists seem far fetched and the dialogue can sometimes dampen the story line-when Michael is asked to go on another mission to explore the comic book shop, he complains that he has homework and has to be home by five. This may be a realistic scenario, but it makes Michael look unsympathetic as he cares more about being home on time than helping his friend. Raphael Corkhill narrates, using different voices for each character. -VERDICT Strictly an additional purchase where the series is popular.-Katie Llera, Bound Brook High School, NJ © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

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.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2015 Booklist

Horn Book Review

Reality-shifter Michael (A Dark Inheritance) is reunited with a now-undead friend on his latest mission for the clandestine UNICORNE organization. While investigating the leader of an invisible squadron of soldiers, Michael searches for more clues about the fate of his missing father. The action is intense and occasional humor helps lighten the dark tone, but the onslaught of complications and further mysteries becomes tiresome. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Book Review

A teenager struggling to control his ability to transform reality undertakes a mission for the secretive organization that recruited him in the opener.Airily neglecting to clarify or even significantly advance any of the plotlines introduced in Dark Inheritance (2014), d'Lacey pitches his mercurial protagonist, Michael, into inconclusive encounters with the mendacious director of UNICORNE ("UNexplained Incidents, Cryptic Occurrences, Relative Nontemporal Events"), a telekinetic foe with a squad of hobbit-sized invisible World War I "Tommies" in reluctant thrall, and an ally buried in the first episode but now come back as a shape-shifting crow. Into this incoherent mess, the author also chucks arbitrary ambushes, ray guns and other futuristic tech, obscure references to an important "artifact," and tiny organisms called Mleptra that can do anything the plot requires, from healing wounds to throwing up force fields. Though he does pull off a clever stunt with a grenade at a climactic moment, Michael, never the brightest bulb in the room, is consistently outthought, outfought and at every turn in need of rescue. Also of having things spelled out for hima trait that will be welcomed by readers gamely trying to slog through the murk of ambiguous agendas, half-truths, evasions and outright lies to catch some glimmer of what's really going on. The effort will be in vain. A hodgepodge of contrived set pieces and tired X-Files-style tropes, with no sign of resolution. (Adventure. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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