Truth is I never heard of this author before, and were it not offered to me, I might have never found it, nor read it if I found it. But it found me, I’ve read it, and I’m waiting for the second one. “Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in Tiger Trouble” by Grant Goodman (ASIN B00W8T5C5Y; 128p.; Goodreads) was a pleasant surprise. Yes, it is a book for young capable readers, but I think it fits anyone who wants a light read, full of Wonka-ish fantasy, good simple wit, easy jokes, and that cartoon-like suspense that I loved the most in it whole. On top of it, one great plus (beside, as I said, it being Wonka-ish in fantasy style, and the smooth way the author writes in general) is – this book is not gender-orientated. I miss this thing a lot in the section for younger audience (younger than angsty teens, pardon me). I have a growing niece, and I don’t see a reason why should I ever burden her with picking “books for girls”. Let books just be books, for that is more than enough.
The book follows two characters. Agent Darcy, a student of Sneakery Bureau, where she uses her steel wit, and spy-like gadgets to overcome obstacles for her future missions. And Ninja Steve from Ninjastoria, who is just that, an epic ninja in a ninja family. Each year their schools get into exchange program with each other, sending two of their best to the rivals. No one beside the officials and the two students know about the secret mission they receive with this exchange. It is meant to test the students, and whoever wins – brings great honor to their school and themselves. Via this exchange Ninja Steve and Agent Darcy meet and become friends. Yet her mission gets in the way and eventually causes enough trouble to put both of them into a certain death situation!
I did enjoy this book. At first I wasn’t so sure about it, but the further I went, the easier it got to get into it. It was a good test on my own brain too, since I had to figure out if I’m still capable of accepting ninjas sitting on the ceiling and taking notes, just like that. I had to accept the simple truths of wall running and rocket boots. But the way author describes everything is so clear and matter-of-fact, that while at first I thought it might be easier to follow in a comic book form, now I think book is just as great. I give it 5 out of 5 and eagerly await the second book.