ARC Review: The Doublecross by Jackson Pearce

ARC Review: The Doublecross by Jackson Pearce
The Doublecross: And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy
by Jackson Pearce

Genres: Espionage, Humor, Young Adult
Publication date: July 14th, 2015
by Bloomsbury

Format: eARC

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Part Spy Kids and all fun, The Doublecross is the first in a fresh middle grade action-adventure series with a healthy dose of humor.

Everyone in twelve-year-old Hale’s family is a spy, going way back. They’ve all worked for the Sub Rosa Society, a top secret organization where new agents aren’t recruited; they’re born. His parents may be the ultimate spy team at SRS, but Hale isn’t a typical stealthy spy—he is, as his mother puts it “big-boned,” and as some classmates put it, “fat.” Still, he’s convinced he will someday be a great field agent. After all, it’s his legacy. But when both his mother and father go missing on a secret mission—likely captured by the SRS’s number one enemy—it’s Hale’s time to step up and (with a little help from his acrobat-cheerleader little sister) save the day.

With a hilarious and charismatic cast of characters, popular teen author Jackson Pearce makes a fantastic debut in the middle-grade arena.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Did you watch the Spy Kids when you were younger? Did you think it was the absolute best? If yes, this book is for you. If not, you might still like this book! I mean, what’s not to like about a cute little middle grade novel that features spies?

As soon as I read the blurb, I was sold because spies and cute middle grade. Admittedly I went into the book thinking one thing and got something else but that wasn’t a bad thing because this book still turned out to be fantabulous and SO MUCH fun to read (which is all that really matter, amirite?)

My favorite thing about this book is Hale. Hale is an underdog, but a determined one. Unlike most of his classmates, he isn’t physically fit and is on the chubbier side. As a result he is known as Hale the Whale and while the mean remarks made by his classmates hurt him, he is also just a very determined kid and won’t let them bring him down. He wants to be a field agent and he won’t let anyone or anything stop him. Also he is so clever! Don’t you love clever kids? I do!And I really  just want to hang out with Hale for an entire day since he is such a cutie!

The secondary characters in this book are really awesome too. I loved Hale’s sister, Kennedy.  Kennedy is an adorable little 9 year old who knows how to get her way. She also happens to be a badass and sometimes she won’t think things through but she is nine and she is awesome! Their new friends, Ben and Beatrix were also great! I love that they were both clever kids in their own right without being brought up by spies. We have Ben who invents awesome devices for Hale to use in the field and then there is Beatrix who knows her way around a computer.

Another great thing in this book is all the relationships, especially the one between Hale and his sister. Kennedy is younger than Hale and is also more fit and more suited to be a field agent but he doesn’t let that get to him. He always supports her. Kennedy also adores her older brother and is always cheering him on!

The book starts off with a tragedy of sorts when Hale and Kennedy’s parents’ mission is compromised by the League, a group of supervillains (or so they have been lead to believe.) This is what urges Hale to embrace himself and we really get to see him shine. He is such a courageous little 12 year old who isn’t overconfident and tends to get scared sometimes! It just makes me love him all the more.

Hale finds some very eye opening things about the world he has been brought up in and chooses to become a doublecross agent to fight for the right side and what he believes in. It was so much fun to see Hale doublecross and to also see his ex-best friend  (who happens to suck) get wrapped up in the mess .

One of the great things is a twist near the end of the book that I didn’t see coming! At all. This RARELY happens with me so I was really happy and thought it was clever.

Also, given the way this book ended, I am going to need a sequel and SOON. I need to see where Hale and company go from here, I want to see what other adventures they will have and I want to see them defeat the bad guys! Is that too much to ask for?

This is an exciting, adorable little book that won’t fail to charm, surprise and excite you. YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE. For the love of spies, read this book!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
World-building
Overall: 4.2
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    Awww Hale sounds completely charming, it’s always great to hear of a character who isn’t in peak physical form you know? The twists sound amazing, you know that is one of my favourite things about a book. Sometimes it’s great to pick up a book with expectations but ending up loving it if it’s completely different. Fantastic review Rashika!
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