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Parents' Guide to

Codename Zero: The Code Name Conspiracy, Book 1

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Violent but gleeful secret-agent thriller with heart.

Codename Zero: The Code Name Conspiracy, Book 1 Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (1 ):

CODENAME ZERO is a promising start to Chris Rylander's Codename Conspiracy series. It's a solid thriller with layers of intrigue and plenty to keep readers guessing. Carson at first seems like just another smart-alecky teen protagonist, but his good-heartedness keeps the book grounded. His best friends -- including a tireless conspiracy theorist and his pragmatic but mischievous sister -- are fun sidekicks.

Carson is drawn to "weird" because "weird" is usually interesting, and he genuinely enjoys befriending Olek, the odd new kid in town. A chance encounter helps him see that there's more to Olek than meets the eye, and it doesn't take much effort to realize Olek is a hidden treasure. Rylander delivers a great message about finding friendship with a light touch -- and glee. The story revels in the absurd, from explosive Fruit Roll-Ups and fainting goats to memory-wiping pharmaceuticals and a vast spy network. The villains are both menacing and absurdly over-the-top. The violence -- particularly a torture scene involving pliers made with human teeth -- may be unsettling to some readers.

Book Details

  • Author: Chris Rylander
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Topics: Adventures , Friendship
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Walden Pond Press
  • Publication date: February 4, 2014
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 368
  • Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: November 4, 2019

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