by James Patterson
MG Mystery/Thriller, 2021 by jimmy patterson books, 304 Pages
What I Didn’t Like:
- I think I said this about book 1, but the voice is so strange. It doesn’t feel authentic for a kid of this age, it feels forced.
- As it was in book 1, I’m shocked by how much disregard a kid like Ali has for the rules. He continues to make mistakes and keep secrets even after how badly it went in the first book. As a parent reading it, that’s frustrating.
- Fans of the Alex Cross series will be frustrated that this series, although it features Alex, doesn’t fit into the timelines established by the other series. Basically, this series isn’t for you. Skip it.
What I Did Like:
- This series is really about marketing mysteries and thrillers to a younger audience and introducing them to the world of detective novels. Keeping that in mind, it’s a good series. It does its job of bringing kids into the mystery really well.
- The topics we dive into in this one are timely and important. Homelessness, shootings, police relations … they all have a front-and-center role in this one. I’ll side-step the idea of whether or not this particular author is the right person to tell this story and, instead, enjoy the fact that it’s being told.
- Good pacing. As is typical with Patterson, you get the short chapters and the small cliffhangers to keep you moving. This storyline moves fast and keeps you engaged.
Who Should Read This One:
- Middle grade readers who are interested in mysteries. The mystery here delivers!