Written by: Chris Ryan
Published by: Red Fox
Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository
'I work for a government agency. You don't need to know which one...The people we are looking for are of a very particular type...You fit a profile, Zak. A very precise one.'
Tragically orphaned in an unexplained mass murder, Zak Darke becomes AGENT 21.
What happened to the twenty young adents before him he doesn't know. What he does know is that his life is about to change forever.
He's going undercover...
My Rating: 3.5/5
I originally purchased this book because I received the fourth book, Deadfall, for free in return for an honest review through NetGalley. And seeing as it was the fourth in a series I might as well read the first book first to get a clearer idea on the characters and what it would all be about. I'm glad I did because while it wasn't my favourite read ever, it was really good in so many aspects. Agent 21 follows Zak Darke, who has just recently lost his parents, as he gets recruited and goes on his first ever mission for a secret government agency.
It didn't take them long to die. It never does. Not if you do it right.For starters, I was really excited for the genre of the book because I was a really big fan of the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, so the books genre really appealed to me because it sounded so similar in a lot of ways. Which is why in the In the beginning I was really gripped and excited for what was to come. The prologue was so amazing! Yet I felt that the book dragged a little after that, so it took me a while to get into it and to really enjoy the writing. Having said this, I did find the story highly enjoyable and I loved how it ended like everything tied up and connected in a neat little bow. Another thing that really made this book for me was the realistic detail that it had when it came to the mission and the training. I really felt that I was learning along with Zak and it was really believable spy/espionage skills, like the Morse code and navigation lessons that were integrated into Zak's training. I just absolutely loved those parts of it!
"Fear is an important emotion, Zak. You can't stop it, but if you can admit you're scared, that's the first step to controlling it."The characters in the book were strong and relate-able, so they felt more realistic and believable to me. Which helped me to like them and cheer them on from the sidelines because you just wanted them to survive. But then I felt that in some cases they were a little underdeveloped to me. However I think that was more down to the fact that it was the first book so I just wasn't used to the writing yet.
"That's the art of deception. The best Lies are the ones that have an element of truth in them."Overall, Agent 21 is a really enjoyable read that does encourage you to buy the rest of the series because you do get carried away with the characters and the missions that they go on. There were not a lot of things that I didn't like about the book, but in some cases there were times that I did feel slightly bored. Yet it was a quick and easy read that does meet all of it's requirements for a young adult spy novel. There was action, adventure, mystery as well as lovable characters that have a lot of room for growth. So while I didn't love it, I am really excited to carry on with the series and find out what the rest of the adventure is like for Zak Darke.