Saturday 8 September 2012

252. Omega Squad Book 1: Time Thieves by Charlie Carter

Omega Squad Book 1: Time Thieves by Charlie Carter
Published September 2012 Pan Macmillan

From the publisher:

Thirteen-year-old Napoleon Augustus Smythe (Battle Boy 005) is now Battle Agent 005.
Along with BA004 (a super smart boy but a real smarty pants too), BA009 (a girl with attitude and no time for a smarty pants) and super soldier TEX, he is a member of the Omega Squad, an elite team of Time Troopers sent back into history for Operation Battle Book.
Professor Perdu, their mission controller, is worried. Someone is stealing the TIME and ENERGY bundles from the Battle Books. But who is behind these attacks? And why?
Omega Squad is sent on a series of Master Missions to investigate these clandestine forces who seek to use Operation Battle Book for evil ends.

While not obvious by the cover, or the blurb, this first book in the new Omega Squad series, is actually a continuation of the Battle Boy Series.  I haven’t read a Battle Boy book, and I must admit, that reading this book felt a bit like I had started reading in the middle of a series.  So I think it really is the next step for those who have read Battle Boy, but want something a bit more challenging.  It’s not really the start of a new series.

The premise of this book is that a group of teenagers attend the College of Independent Studies, a special school for elite students located beneath a library, and it’s operated by Management Incorporated (MANIC) and it’s also the organisation that  controls the city of Futura.  Their job is to enter the professor's Battle Books - super-strong metal caskets containing the compressed  energy of past battles - and travel through time to great conflicts.   On these missions they collect data for a Top Secret Research program, Operation Battle Book, as well as DNA for the professor's Warrior DNA Bank.  It seems however that someone is spying on the Omega Squad, and as a result their lives have been put in danger on their missions.

When BA004 (Battle Agent 004) gets trapped at the Battle of Hastings, worse still, he is trapped in the past in an Energy Bundle, a captured capsule of battle energy.  I am still not 100% certain what that means, but I know that it's bad!  His fellow agents BA005, BA009 and their own personal Super Soldier TEX, have to find a way to get him out.  Even of they do, they still have to figure out who is attacking Operation Battle Book!

There seems to be a large number of books being released that deal with time travel.  The time travellers in this series have a serious advantage,  in that they have technology on their side.  These teens do not travel to war torn times in history without protection.  Each team member is equipped with a Simulation Skin, which is, and I quote…’ mix of organic Kevlar and cloned spider web. The skin coloured outfit gave them maximum protection from shocks, explosions and bullets.  Embedded with micro-chips and nano-computers, it is also a higtech-data-collecting and surveillance unit.’

I may have struggled with this book a bit, but I think fans of Battle Boy will love it.

Who will like this book: Boys age 9+
Read it if you like: Battle Boy series by Charlie Carter

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