Dangerous Allies (The Forgotten Five, Book 4)

 
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Dangerous Allies (The Forgotten Five, Book 4)
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
February 13, 2024
ISBN
978-0593615836
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X-Men meets Spy Kids in the fourth installment of The Forgotten Five middle-grade fantasy/adventure series by the New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds.

Following an explosive showdown with President Fuerte and his supernatural henchmen, the forgotten five and their allies are feeling lost. Their trusted friend and mentor The Librarian has left the group and declared her loyalty to the corrupt president. Has the Librarian really abandoned them in their quest to take down Fuerte’s regime, or has she been kidnapped?

Then, without warning, Troy Cordoba—Tenner’s dad, who has been working for Fuerte for years—shows up at the five’s safe house wanting to join their cause but accidentally leading the presidential guards right to their doorstep. Troy insists that he has changed for the better, but Tenner isn’t sure he can be trusted.

Meanwhile, Magdalia Palacio’s election campaign is gaining steam. If she’s against the president, does that make her the five’s ally?
The kids will have to decide who to put their faith in—and fast—before the president uses his supernatural army to crush his opponent and cement his criminal rule over Estero once and for all.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Emotional, dynamic characters
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked:
The author presents dramatic changes from what’s been happening in the previous three books. The biggest twist occurs when The Librarian sends an email to Lada and the other super kids saying she’s been secretly working with President Fuertes and has now officially switched sides. This announcement leaves a leadership void for the team and they struggle to figure out what they’ll do. Also, E-Kat and Troy leave Fuertes and have now decided to support Lada, Birdie, and the others. E-Kat, a super-strong woman, is an easy addition to the team but Troy comes with complications. He was a horrible father to Tenner growing up so Tenner is strongly against letting Troy in. Lada believes Troy has sincerely changed for the better but that doesn’t affect Tenner’s anger toward his father.
Most of the super team is comprised of tweens and they’re beginning to have unexplored feelings as they enter puberty. Birdie and Seven have been best friends for years but Seven is just now discovering that he like likes her. His invisibility comes in handy since Birdie can’t see him blushing. Tenner began having feelings for Lada in the last book but Troy’s presence has created some friction. Tenner can’t understand why Lada is ignoring his feelings as she chooses to support Troy and say nice things about him. Cabot is now realizing she wants to be thought of as a person, not a boy or a girl. She finally reveals this feeling to others and they readily support her. Gender identity can become an issue for middle-grade readers so Cabot’s character may be relatable to them.
The plot is building to a confrontation between Fuertes and Magadalia Palacio as they’re both running for president of Estero. Magadalia also happens to be Seven’s mother but she abandoned him as a child. That’s more family drama for the plot and the author saves another twist for later in the book. Fuertes has already shown that he’ll stop at nothing to win the election and it’s clear he’s planning something devious. He seems to be building an army of supers who are only in it for the money Fuertes has promised. This makes their loyalty shaky since they don’t believe in what Fuertes is doing. However, the author lets readers wonder throughout the book and won’t reveal Fuertes’s plans to disrupt the election until the plot nears its climax.
What didn’t work as well:
It gets a bit confusing since many of the characters, good and bad, know each other from the past. They’re easily accepted by their former foes and they’re still allowed to freely move about the city. It seems like Fuertes should be more concerned about spies meeting with their former friends which is exactly what happens.
The final verdict:
I recommend you read the previous books in the series to understand the attitudes and emotions of the various characters. This book sets the stage for a contentious election between Fuertes and Magadalia and the author leaves many questions and possibilities for readers to consider. Overall, this book shares an emotional story of supernatural characters and I recommend you give it a shot.
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Packs Emotional Punch
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Lisa McMann has hit her stride with Dangerous Allies, book four of the Forgotten Five series. The Forgotten Five and their friends mature a lot in this book as they face one emotional revelation after another. Paired with exciting fast-paced action this book was unputdownable.
Troy Cordoba has risked everything to run away from President Fuerte and wants to join Lada. It is quite a shock when he realizes all the children, including his son, are with Lada. His path to redemption is not easy and Tenner faces many emotions having his abusive father trying to join their ranks.
Seven is also struggling with his feelings as the team gets a person on his mother’s Presidential team. Magdalia was neglectful of him as a child so when she announces she is adopting a boy that is close to his age it is like a physical blow to him. He is not ready to reconnect with her even though it may help the team advance their plans.
Lada was able to get a few of Fuerte’s supers to ally with them. E-Kat is new to their team and the cliffhanger big reveal about her past will cause quite a stir in the next book.
As the children get stronger with their powers they are faced with new challenges. Birdie has accidentally killed someone with her wasps and now she is wanted by the police. The older children are realizing the consequences of their actions and that while they think of themselves as the good guys, others see them as villains. It has them questioning their parent's actions who they have always thought of as “the bad parents”. This leads to themes of equality, persecution, and prejudice regarding people who have supernatural powers that could be transferred to discussions about other vulnerable populations in the real world.
Overall, the third book has not been released yet but I need the fourth book. I could not put this book down and was willing to stay up late in the night to finish it in a single day, so that is my standard for a high recommendation. I like that time was spent developing these characters and focusing on their emotions and emerging maturity as well as the action.
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