Masterminds: Criminal Destiny (Masterminds #2)

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Masterminds: Criminal Destiny (Masterminds #2)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
February 02, 2016
ISBN
978-0062300027
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The clones of Project Osiris are free—but they’re being hunted. . . . After their narrow escape from their “perfect” hometown, Eli, Tori, Amber, and Malik are finally in the real world and determined to expose the leaders of Serenity. They decide to track down Tamara Dunleavy, the mysterious billionaire and founder of Project Osiris. Evading capture by breaking laws and sneaking into houses, hotels, buses, and cars—are they becoming the criminals they were destined to be? What they discover will change everything, leading them straight into the Plastic Works and the heart of the experiment, in order to uncover the deadly criminals they’re cloned from—and any evidence that will convince the outside world to believe the truth. But the outside world isn’t exactly what they expected—strangers aren’t just unfriendly, they’re dangerous. And the wrong move could send them right back into the arms of Dr. Hammerstrom—and trapped in Serenity for good. On a breakneck journey from Jackson Hole to a maximum security prison—Eli, Tori, Amber, and Malik will stop at nothing to take Project Osiris down.

Editor review

1 review
Evil clones on the loose??
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Eli, Tori, Amber and Malik have managed to escape from their "perfect" town of Serenity after uncovering information about Project Osiris. They head for their friend Robbie's boarding school, where they regroup and learn a little about the outside world. They also find out that the security forces from Serenity, the Purples, are on their tails. Thinking they will be safer in a big city, they head to Denver, where Amber tries to go to the police. This just alerts the Purples, so the others must free her. After spending a night in the home of people away on vacation, the group heads to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to try to locate the woman behind the project, Tamara Dunleavy, who has become a well known philanthropist. When they finally locate her, however, she wants nothing to do with them, although she does leave her Bentley and some large wads of cash for them to use. Not knowing quite where to turn, the group returns to Serenity and find it deserted. They do some more research and decide that the best course of action is to locate one of the criminals from whom they are cloned and get help from him. A prison break ensues, and the group readies itself for book number three.
Good Points
Like Kloepfer's Zombie Chasers or The 39 Clues Books, the big draw of this series is the travel and danger. There are lots of car chases, hotwiring, jumping from buildings into garbage, and a particularly harrowing incident involving a wood chipper. The fact that the group is being chased allows them the freedom to drive vehicles, eat junk food, and generally be free of adult intervention as long as they can elude it. Middle grade fantasy at its finest!

The characters all develop a bit more now that they are free of the constraits of their programmed culture. Malik seems to embrace his criminal destiny a little more than the others, and Amber and Tori seem determined to fight against it. All four miss the people they thought of as their parents, but also feel that Project Osiris was essentially wrong, and that their parents should pay for their involvement in it.

Korman, as always, writes a funny, engaging tale of tween empowerment that is sure to be a winner for just about anyone who likes a good cross country frolic presented with a large does of humor.

The adult in me wanted more of a plan-- the traveling about seemed a bit random and unfocused, and the decision to consult one of the criminal "parents" unwise, but this will not bother the target demographic!
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