Book Review: Countdown Zero + Giveaway

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Countdown Zero + GiveawayCountdown Zero by Chris Rylander
Series: The Codename Conspiracy #2
Published by Walden Pond Press on February 3rd 2015
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon

There are people in this world who live secret lives. There are people who fight the evil that lurks in the shadows so that the rest of us can live free from tyranny and fear. There are people—perhaps the person who is sitting across from you on the bus or waiting tables at your favorite restaurant—who put it all on the line for us, every day, whose names we’ll never know.

None of these people is Carson Fender.

At least, not since he was let go by the secret agency that enlisted his services to help foil a nefarious plot perpetrated by one of their former agents. Carson is back to hanging out with his friends, pulling pranks, and not having to lie to everyone about how he’s spending his days. And that’s for the best. Isn’t it?

Of course, this was all before a note showed up in his school lunch, informing him that Agent Nineteen has three days left to live, and that there might still be someone inside the Agency working against them. Carson has always been able to rely on his friends—but what happens when there’s no one left to trust?

thought Countdown Zero is the second book in Chris Rylander’s Codename Conspiracy series. Carson Fender is a prankster, but his life changed drastically in the last book when he was asked to become an agent for The Agency. This secret organization has a base right beneath his school and is calling on him again to save the world. When one of the agents, Agent Nineteen, he worked with in the last book is in danger, they send Carson in to find him and save the world from a deadly virus getting out. Unfortunately, things don’t go as smoothly and Carson finds himself double crossed by a fellow student.

I love these books on so many different levels… there’s an insane amount of action and spy tactics mixed in with humorous moments. I love how over the top the characters can be sometimes and how Carson adapts to the different situations. Within the book, there’s a deeper message talking about honesty and the reasons behind which we lie to those we care about. I found this intriguing and wonder if this will keep carrying over into the next book.

I really find Carson as a likeable character. He seems to be loyal and carries his guilt about lying to his friends really close, but knowing that he cannot reveal unless the circumstances are dire. Dillon is by far my favorite of his friends, being a conspiracy nut and adds the most hilarity to the book. Danielle is smart and quick to pick up on what is going on and also seems to keep Carson a bit grounded.

For a longer book, I felt like the plot moved quickly with enough spy action and intrigue to keep me reading until the very last page. Rylander does a great job of balancing character development with plot points.


One of my favorite new spy series for kids, check out any of Rylander’s books and you won’t be disappointed.


Chris Rylander - Author Photo

Chris Rylander is the author of the Fourth Stall Saga and the Codename Conspiracy series.  A fan of brown shipping boxes turned on their sides, dance-offs to win a girl’s heart, and rice, he lives in Chicago.  You can visit him online at Find Chris on Twitter and his website.



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