Book Review: Codename Zero

Book Review: Codename ZeroCodename Zero by Chris Rylander
Series: The Codename Conspiracy #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-02-04
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon

From Chris Rylander, author of The Fourth Stall, comes an incredibly funny and clever mash-up of middle-grade school story and spy adventure, in the vein of H.I.V.E. and NERDS.There are places in the world where heroes are born.

There are places where brave men and women fight a never-ending battle against evil in order to keep our country and all other countries safe. There are places where the fate of our planet is being decided, even at this very moment, the consequences of which will echo through history.

None of these places is in North Dakota.

Carson Fender, seventh grader and notorious prankster, knows this. He’s lived in North Dakota for his entire life, going to the same boring school every day, the same boring movie theater every week, the same boring state fair every year. Nothing ever changes, and nothing ever happens. That is, until today. Because today a desperate man hands him a package with a dire set of instructions. And that package is going to lead Carson to discover that there’s a secret government agency operating in his small, quiet North Dakota hometown.

And that this agency needs his help.

Codename Zero starts off with a bang as Carson Fender is pulling off the biggest prank in the history of his middle school. Although he should be enjoying it, a frantic man gives him a package with the instructions not to open it and to deliver it to Mr. Jensen. Suddenly, he is part of something bigger than a small town prank. Knowing that this package is sitting in his room makes him curious as to what it contains and he opens it, only to find it’s a box that will self destruct in just 24 hours. The only thing he can do is find Mr. Jensen, but there are two that work at his school and he must figure out which is the right one.

Carson’s journey does not stop there, as he is asked to take on a mission, one dealing with protecting a new friend and helping save the world. Having wanted his whole life to be a part of something more, how can he refuse? I really loved Carson as a character and his friends had unique and engaging qualities that kept me reading and want to know more about each of them.

Rylander knows how to write an action story and I could not put down Codename Zero. Fans of his other books will fall in love with Carson and his mission to help save the world by being a good friend. The book moved quickly, a mix of intrigue and action, spotted with great relationships and fantastic moments. There’s a mix of humor entwined within the story and so many laugh out loud moments as Carson learns what it is to be a spy.

Final Verdict: Codename Zero is a first in a new series that will not disappoint. For every reader who has ever wanted to be a secret agent, this is the book for you.

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