Power Play by Beth McMullen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Everyone at The Smith School is obsessed with Monster Mayhem, the latest reality video game craze. But when Drexel Caine, the mastermind behind the game is suddenly kidnapped, it becomes clear that the kidnappers are playing for more than just special badges. After Drexel’s son—who is Abby’s friend, Toby—receives a cryptic message, Abby and her friends discover the kidnapping is part of a bigger scheme that could take down The Center for good.
With the help of Abby’s frenemy (and reluctant mentor), Veronica Brooks, the group tackles their first official Center Mission. They tangle with the world’s most notorious hacker, get in trouble for the possible theft of the Mona Lisa, and prepare for the ultimate showdown in London. But not before they have to contend with one more hurdle: the agonizing Smith School Spring Formal. Along the way, they discover they are much stronger as a team they can ever be alone.
And with a little luck, they might just save the world.
This was a fun follow-up to last year's Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls! Thirteen-year-old, spy-wannabe Abby finds herself on a whirlwind international adventure, searching for her friend Toby's missing father. Abby, Toby, and their friends race against the clock through an online monster-catching game, hoping for more clues from the villain who kidnapped Toby's dad. But it turns out the villain wants more than just control of the game . . .
Fast-paced and funny, Power Play is a quick read. The star of the book is Abby's voice. She's a little sarcastic, smart, and always hopelessly in trouble. The supporting characters are fun and add a lot to the story, and I loved the beginning of some teen drama sneaking into their relationships. Moving the story between the boarding school, Paris, Florida, and London keeps the pace moving along (as does Abby's ability to constantly find a way to sneak off). I especially enjoyed seeing Abby come into her own as a future spy during the climax of the book. Kids who enjoy adventure stories, spies, and friendship books will love this series!