When Jake, Ben, Lori, Eddie, Cally, and Jennifer are invited to the illustrious and exclusive Devereaux Academy, they don’t know what they’re signing up for. The Academy is a cover for a covert training facility, affectionately known as Spy High where young “students” are trained to be spies. The six are assigned to the Bond Team, but where the other teams seems to be coming together, Bond Team has some difficulty working as a team. Ben is too concerned with being a hero, Lori can’t seem to say no to Ben (yeah, she’s the lamest of the characters), Jennifer is too ready to jump into a fight, Jake is resentful of Ben’s snobbery, Cally has no faith in herself, and Eddie can’t take things seriously. In an attempt to get them to click, they are sent on a camping trip. The camping trip turns out to be anything but singing songs around a fire and they must use all their wits and training to survive.
Surprisingly, despite there being so many characters to follow, we get a pretty good idea of who everyone is. Not everyone gets quite the same amount of attention (Lori, Eddie, and Jennifer get the least while Ben, Jake, and Cally get the most), but even so we get to know each of them. It is most unfortunate that we don’t get to know more about Jennifer, since she apparently has some sort of secret and seems interesting. Anyone hopping for a fight must have some interesting backstory, right?
Book one did a good job of setting up a larger story (specifically an organization called CHAOS) while establishing the different kids. I would have liked Lori to be more complex (right now she seems to just be the pretty face she doesn’t want to be with no specific skills to contribute to the team) and I am surprised that before they voted for team leader they weren’t given a speech about how scores aren’t everything when it comes to leadership.
I would also like to know how things work when they graduate. For example, do you work with the teams you train with? Does the bigger spy organization have a name? How does Devereaux get his intel? Some or all of these things may be revealed later in the series, so it is hard to complain about it just yet.