Swift and Hawk: Cyberspies

Swift and Hawk: Cyberspies
Author(s)
Age Range
9+
Release Date
November 22, 2022
ISBN
978-1536224153
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For fans of the Alex Rider and Spy School series comes a twenty-first-century spin on the spy novel, featuring a girl and boy whose brilliant minds and cutting-edge technology make them unstoppable.

When their families are violently kidnapped, Swift and Hawk—teen experts in AI and robotics—are plunged into a life-or-death rescue mission by the secretive Möbius group. Their journey takes them from hidden tunnels beneath the British Museum to the dangerous docklands of Amsterdam in search of the mysterious ship Nightfall. Caught in a treacherous world of spies and saboteurs, Swift and Hawk will be pushed to the limit as they follow a trail that leads to the remote island of Spøkelsøy—and straight into the hands of a dark and chilling enemy.

Editor review

1 review
Great New British Spy Book
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Caleb Quinn lives with his mother, Harper, a CIA agent, in London after the death of his father, a well known scientist. He attends ARC, a private school where he studies Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Cybertech. His best friend, Zenobia (Zen) is also the child of scientists. When leather jacketed hoodlums break into the Quinn home, Caleb uses technology he created, his FLEX, to spy on them, and hears his mother use code words to indicate he should flee. He manages to get out of the house and make his way to ARC, only to find that Professor Clay, whom he is supposed to contact, is not there, nor is Zen, who boards at the school. Zen has left a cryptic message with her android Beetlebat that leads Caleb to break into the British Museum and find a secret room where Zen is hiding. Her whole family has been kidnapped. Professor Clay shows up, but so does a small drone. Their position compromised, the three take off through the London sewers. The children get cut off from the professor, who has given them a mission to crack a code as part of the Moebius Programme, and they make their way to safety. The two decide to head to Amsterdam and contact a former schoolmate, Luuk, to help them. Caleb has been working on a video game called Terrorform that has become very popular, and has built on his father's AI program called SAM. Using their skills, Caleb and Zen start to unravel the mystery that involves enignmatic businessman Xavier Torent, Esperanza, APEX, and a diabolical plan that only the tweens can thwart. This takes them to the remote Norwegian island of Spøkelsøy where they have to fight nanowolves and outsmart Torrent to save Zen's family. Will they be able to find them, and locate Caleb's mother as well?
Good Points
This reminded me a bit of Young's STORM series, with the British characters and the plethora of cool tech gadgets, as well as the kidnapped parents. There's lots of action and adventure as well as international travel that is taken for granted ("we'll just hop on the EuroStar and get to Amsterdam") that will be greatly appreciated by readers who are sitting in a study hall in Ohio with the only travel in their future being a possible trip out to an apple orchard in the country! Caleb and Zen both have a ton of tech and spy skills, and are pretty fearless as well. The villains are easy to identify, and they clearly have to be taken down because they are bent on world domination. There's clearly another mission in the works because Caleb was picking up APEX signals again at the end of the book.

This did have a rarified, wealthy atmosphere that made it a lot easier to go on missions, but it also made me less interested in the characters because they didn't have as much of a struggle. This had some similarities to Muchamore's CHERUB series, but the draw of that has always been that the children recruited as spies had such hard lives!

Spy books are always very popular, and my students have loved going on vicarious spy missions for over twenty years! This will be hugely popular with fans of Horowitz's Stormbreaker (2000), Gilman's Devil's Breath (2005), Carter's Gallagher Girls (2006), Buckley's NERDS (2009), Muchamore's CHERUB series (2010), Gibbs' Spy School (2013) , Bradley's Double Vision (2014), McGee's Ryan Quinn (2016), and Ponti's City Spies (2020). (less)
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