Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan
When Danny discovers the old house he breaks into is actually the base of a secret spy organization called the Shadow Project, he's given a choice of either joining the group or going to jail. Of course, he chooses to join. This group is using experimental techniques to have teens use a form of astral projection to spy on a terrorist group. Opal, the daughter of the leader of the Shadow Project, doesn't return after her latest spying mission, and Danny is sent to find her and bring her back. What happens next is a game of cat and mouse set among the spirit world, where Danny must hunt down one of the leaders of the terrorist group.
The Shadow Project has one of the best openings of any book I've read in a long while. The first chapter has Danny discovering the secret entrance to the Shadow Project's underground base. The author tightens the tension so that you're hooked by the time Danny is captured by the project's members. Unfortunately, it begins to ramble after that, and doesn't fulfill its promise. I actually found parts in the middle boring and I really wanted to skip a few pages or chapters to find out the conclusion. I held out and forced myself to keep reading, and yes a few times, I caught a glimpse of that earlier promise. Not enough to completely redeem the book, though. I've read better spy stories (Alex Rider) and better stories featuring astral projection (Stranger with My Face). My grade? A 'C'.