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Publishers Weekly Review
D'Lacey (the Last Dragon Chronicles) launches the UFiles series with a fast-paced yet convoluted offering. When teenager Michael Malone rescues a stray dog, it sets off a chain of events in which he learns he can alter reality under emotional duress, such as changing history so his sister has always played the flute. He is subsequently recruited by an enigmatic agency known as UNICORNE, which may know what happened to Michael's missing father. However, UNICORNE's leader, Amadeus Klimt, doesn't necessarily have Michael's best interests at heart, constantly forcing him to expand and explore his powers in new ways. In investigating the ties between the dog, a new classmate, and a girl who died several years earlier, Michael is swept up in a strange adventure that's part murder mystery, part reality-twisting trial by fire. The premise has plenty of potential, but the storytelling suffers from too many disparate elements and a lack of focus. Some twists are unclear, others ask a lot of readers, and the ending leaves many questions unanswered. Ages 8-12. Agency: Johnson & Alcock Literary Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
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 (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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.--Wildsmith, Snow Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
After Michael discovers he has paranormal abilities, he's inducted (somewhat reluctantly on his part) into a mysterious group of others like him dedicated to investigating unexplained supernatural phenomena. Leveraging UNICORNE to help, Michael tries to harness his powers to search for his missing father. Humor is interjected into the dramatic and thrilling plot, serving to lighten a story overwhelmed with clichis. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.