Sunday, 7 June 2015

Frankie Fox, Girl Spy: Operation Boy Band

Frankie Fox, Girl Spy: Operation Boy Band by Yvette Poshoglian Illus. Jaqui Davis
Lothian/Hachette)
PB RRP $12.99 Ebook: $9.99
ISBN: 9780734415707

Reviewed by Hilary Smillie

Frankie Fox, secret agent for Griffin, fighters against the Alliance, the enemy of the whole world, is off on a mission to Edinburgh to attend a robot-building Symposium for bright young minds. It is also where the pop group, Band of Brothers is performing at Edinburgh Castle. Rani, Frankie's best friend at school, is besotted by the pop group and when she discovers her first mission is going to the group's concert, she is gobsmacked, even more so when her neighbour and schoolmate JJ suddenly joins her. He is also a Griffin agent. Both are sure they are being watched.

The two children are amazed to find they are to see the concert from the Royal Box. Their escort is a large Scottish Griffin agent, Stewart McRennie, who is wearing the same strange uniform issued to Frankie and JJ. The crowd is enormous and when the first strains of the band's popular song Freedom begins, all three of them notice that the fans seem to fall in a trance. And then the earth rocks and the ground under the castle starts breaking up as if an earthquake has been triggered.

As people scream in panic, tumbling into wide cracks beneath the Castle, the boy band is ushered off stage. Frankie realises it is an attack by the Alliance. Stewart Rennie unfortunately falls through the glass of the Royal Box and disappears. She and JJ manage to escape to Griffin H.Q. There is still the Symposium for both the young agents to attend before they can return to Australia. Hopefully this will build on their intelligence gathering so that Harbour City, Frankie and JJ's beloved home town, will be protected when the Band of Brothers arrives a few days later.

The author has produced a fast-paced exciting story involving a robotic competition and the use of state-of-the-art inventions which aid Frankie in her quest to once again save the world. Working the plot around a rock concert adds further appeal resulting in book number two smoothly riding the crest of the wave created by its predecessor. Each of the twenty-one chapters are full of action and intrigue; the secret pertaining to the Band of Brothers proving to be the biggest surprise of all.

Jaqui Davis's black and white illustrations scattered through the book are an extra element for readers to enjoy. I am in no doubt that fans of Frankie Fox Girl Spy will be captivated by this cracking adventure.


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