Saturday, July 23, 2011

I,Q Book Two: The White House: A book review on the children's spy novel by Roland Smit as reported by Robert Steven Mack

Writing a sequel to a successful book is both difficult and risky. Writing a good one is not only tremendously hard and brain-frying but courageous and commendable as one was able to take the story and events of the author’s first book to a new level and successfully convert it into a new book. It's not as easy as it sounds. You need to think of what did work and what didn't work. You need to know what to add, enhance, and give more of but also what to subtract, eliminate, and give less of. And not to mention the labor that goes into plot and story-line. Indeed, the author needs to come up with an entirely new story - featuring familiar characters - that does neither repeat nor ignore its predecessor. All in all, the end product will turn out to be either better or worst than what came before it.

When you recall my review of “I, Q: Independence Hall” it is quite obvious that the story will be continued. The reader’s hopes are high with curiosity. What’s next? “I, Q : The White House” lives up the expectations the first book so tauntingly set. With plenty of lively and vivid characters, a more interesting story, and plenty of good humor with espionage puns that, while at times abstract, are not to be missed. The second book surely keeps the tradition of complex plots and plenty of espionage to keep the reader interested as the serial chapters bounce around while eventually leading to a climactic finish - which once again turns out to be the beginning...

A note of caution: “I,Q: The White House” may be at times incomprehensible to those youngsters who have had limited exposure to the field of espionage and may require subtle guidance. There is no better place to start your child’s training -although I might recommend that you read the first book – well, first. I think that it is only fair that I give a brief summary of the book's plot, so here it goes: Ex-CIA agent Boone arranges for Quest, Angela , and their parents to visit the White House while uncovering bombs, moles, and even a kidnapping-plot jeopardizing the lives of the President’s children, including his mischievous 10-year old son PK. I firmly believe that everyone who reads this book - boy or girl, young or old - will be intrigued by the book's intellectual stimulation, adventurous turning points, and its delectable humor that's to die for. And I add it’s nice to see Malak Tucker in action after all the fuss that took place in the first book about her persona. Another thing that those who will be returning to the series will find pleasing is the fact that the book's author, Roland Smith, doesn't take the first chapter repeating the events and facts we learned in the first book. And even if this is your first “I, Q” book you will not be lost as the author’s sleek writing is sure to fill you in as you go on - though I'd still recommend that you read the first book first.

In sum, this book is for anyone who likes adventure, good humor, and Roland Smith; not to mention the seducing element of spies and counter spies, agents and double agents in the underground world of espionage that, believe it or not, is right under your very nose. If you up for such a reading adventure, then this is a must-have to your book collection.

Copyright 2011 by Robert Steven Mack (all rights reserved!)

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