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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Reviews provided by Syndetics

School Library Journal Review

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. 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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