Mission Manhattan (City Spies, Book 5)

Mission Manhattan  (City Spies, Book 5)
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Release Date
February 06, 2024
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In this fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling series from Edgar Award winner James Ponti, the young group of spies take on New York City in another international adventure perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

The City Spies head to the Big Apple when a credible threat is made to a young climate activist who is scheduled to speak in front of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly. With Rio acting as alpha and a new member in their ranks, the team’s mission to protect a fellow teen takes them on an exciting adventure in, around, and even under the greatest city in the world as they follow leads to the outer boroughs, the UN Headquarters, and even the usually off-limits stacks that extend deep under the main branch of the New York Public Library.

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The City Spies face the highest stakes yet in the newest book, Mission Manhattan. They receive intel that a teen environmental leader, Beatriz Santos, may be in danger during her speech in Venice, Italy. Rio gets a spot backstage and befriends her as a fellow person from Rio De Janeiro. He becomes a hero when he saves a boat full of people from a bomb. Yet, he is a spy so having his face plastered all over international news and his background investigated is less than ideal. He faces the fact that he has a foot in two countries and does not feel complete in either one.

Paris must step into the alpha role when Mother is kidnapped and Monty arrested. They are kids so they could stand back and let the adults figure it out, but they are the ones that have the most intel and have feet on the ground. So, these highly capable teens split into two groups. Brooklyn takes the lead with a small team to go on to Manhattan and protect Beatriz, while Paris leads his group to try and rescue Mother.

This is the first book where things are not slick for the city spies. They are forced to think fast, improvise, and trust in each other to still meet their goals with less adult support than normal. I am impressed with the large cast that each character feels unique and contributes to the mission.

The side story with Cairo is slowly simmering and feels like it will take precedence in the next book. He must choose which parent’s side he is working on. Paris learns of his secret but they are in the middle of a messy mission so he must make executive decisions and hope everything turns out well. Clementine is still a mystery and her plans look like they are advancing. The ending ends on a sinister note.

I appreciate that through Beatriz we also are educated about environmental issues while still enjoying a spy novel. I also like that by following the mission we travel along with the characters and learn about Venice, Washington DC, Manhattan, and a few other places.

Overall, this was a great addition to the City Spies series. I loved the character development and watching the kids mature through the series. I am intrigued by the next book and hope we can finally solve the mystery of Clementine.
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