Kirkus Reviews: “With secrets around every corner and an exciting premise, this thriller will keep readers guessing right to the very last page. (Thriller. 12-16)”
Sonja Stone developed a taste for life on the lam at an early age, as her family moved to more than a dozen small towns across the country and abroad before she turned fifteen. She collected intel on psychology and creative writing from Washington College, trained at Le Cordon Bleu for a cover job as head pastry chef, and completed a handful of courses at the same survival school where Tom Hanks prepared for Cast Away. Currently, she’s raising two covert agents masquerading as typical teenagers. Just to be safe, Sonja’s learned to throw knives, fire guns, and navigate the desert, because . . . well, you never know.
School Library Journal: "This sequel to Desert Dark doubles down on intrigue by deep-diving into the intricacies of conspiracies and the fallout of secrets. New and returning readers will appreciate the beginning's debriefing on past events . . . Give this novel to teens that crave brisk, action-heavy intrigue and don't mind realistic violence. (Gr 9 Up)"
Publishers Weekly: “A mix of all-too-real war games, teenage love conundrums, and a tenacious heroine makes this an engaging first outing. Ages 12–up.”
The Horn Book Guide: “ . . . the engaging fish-out-of-water setup, fast pace, and strong lead character make this a compulsively readable thriller.”
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Booklist: "It's a thrilling ride, packed with espionage techniques and black ops strategies. As in the series opener . . . readers are kept guessing about characters and their true loyalties until the very end. Recommend to fans of spy fiction or anyone looking for a sophisticated page-turner."
Kirkus Reviews: "The perilous intricacies of espionage run deeper than ever in this high-octane sequel. . . . hairpin plot twists and heart-stopping tension as the narrative barrels toward a conclusion that reveals explosive secrets. . . . A jaw-dropping second installment ready for a third. (Thriller. 12-16)"
Booklist: "Readers who enjoyed Marie Lu’s Legend series or James Dashner’s Maze Runner trilogy will appreciate this fast-paced action novel."
More from School Library Journal: “VERDICT: A good additional purchase for those seeking strong female protagonists, mystery, or foreign operative adventure.”
Montana Public Radio: “There was so much suspense, I couldn’t put the book down without finishing it. Truthfully, this book deals with things too advanced for kids my age (I'm 10) and I would recommend it for ages 15 and up if they like suspense and mystery . . .” Reviewed by Logan, age 10.
Children's Book Council: “With a setting that is Hogwarts meets The Bourne Identity, this debut YA thriller will make readers mad with suspense.”
School Library Journal: "YA readers seeking blockbuster adventure may want to consider Desert Dark by debut novelist Sonja Stone, set in a secret CIA training school in the wilds of Arizona."
Catholic Library World: “Desert Dark is a sure-fire hit with young adults aged twelve and up. This suspenseful read would be well-placed in any public or school library.”
ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE): “Stone creates a mood of mystery from the first few pages. . . . A solid mystery with references to today’s headlines, lots of suspense, realistic dialogue, and a dash of romance, this book will take readers on a page-turning ride.”
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