Forbidden City: City Spies, Book 3

Forbidden City: City Spies, Book 3
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Release Date
February 01, 2022
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In this third “thrilling” (Kirkus Reviews) installment in the New York Times bestselling series from Edgar Award winner James Ponti, the young group of spies help a fellow agent in another international adventure perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

After taking down a mole within their organization, the City Spies are ready for their next mission—once again using their unique skills and ability to infiltrate places adults can’t. The sinister Umbra has their sights set on recruiting a North Korean nuclear physicist by any means necessary, and the City Spies plan to keep an eye on his son by sending Paris to the chess prodigy’s tournaments in Moscow and Beijing.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s embedded as a junior reporter for a teen lifestyle site as she follows the daughter of a British billionaire on tour with the biggest act on her father’s music label to uncover what links both the band and the billionaire have to a recent threat from an old Soviet missile base.

From a daring break-in at one of London’s most exclusive homes to a dangerous undercover mission to a desperate search and rescue operation on the streets of Beijing, the City Spies have their work cut out for them on their most dangerous mission yet.

Editor review

1 review
Fabulous addition to the series
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What Worked: James Ponti’s City Spies series is a clever tween spy series with plenty of heart. The cast of characters are aged 12-15 and are orphaned super intelligent and talented kids that an MI6 agent known as “Mother” has recruited and adopted as part of a super-secret MI6 training program. The past books have had Brooklyn as the major character but she had to take a back seat on this mission to attend summer school and get caught up after she joined mid-year. It was nice that Paris was at the forefront of this story and that it developed his character as he grapples with the coming-of-age question of his core identity. With several years working as a spy with code names and alias, he has a bit of a harder time knowing who he is than the average teenager. Sydney was able to work a dream cover job on an online magazine that gave her real skills if she wants to pursue it in the future.
It would be hard to juggle so many characters and keep them all relevant and develop their personalities but James Ponti does an excellent job. With each book, we get a clearer sense of the tween’s personalities and talents. I listened to this as an audiobook and the narrator does a fantastic job with the around-the-world accents that the cast of characters have and helping set each character up as individuals.
The mission is difficult and has many moving objectives. Each member of the team brings their talents to the quest and the plot unfolds at a nice pace. They succeed in a believable yet amazing way that makes the series difficult to put down.
Final Verdict: The characters in City Spies are well-developed and the teamwork that leads to the resolution is clever and well done. If you like the spy genre then this is a must-add to your TBR list. I look forward to the next book in the series.
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