Pratt, Tim and Deemer, Andy. The Stormglass Protocol
September 4th 2013
by Stormglass Ventures LLC
Nominated for the Cybils by Publisher/Author; copy received from publisher
Jake is quite happy with his parents when Filby and Lizzie break into his house and tell him that he is the newest recruit for Stormglass. Before he can even be properly trained, he is supplied with spy gadgets and whisked off to England to find out where killer bees are originating. The group meets with The Beekeeper about genetically engineered bees that have been found with the Vindiqo logo. Since bees are increasingly endangered, these new ones seem to be put in place to help resurrect colonies, but they are not quite right; their venom sacks are too large and are made to hold too strong a poison. Sure enough, there is evil lurking in the form of The Doctor, who is trying to sell the bees and create global chaos. Jake, Filby and Lizzie gets caught up in trying to figure out what is going on, but there is a traitor in the organization that is putting them in peril.
Strengths: I appreciated that the problem of bee populations was put to good use in this. There are lots of gadgets (a Stormpad!), plenty of action, and a decent group dynamic. While I saw the twist coming at the end, I'm not sure students would. There is a lot of online supporting material for the book at Stormglass.com.
Weaknesses: This strained my credulity somewhat. Jake has no real reason to run off and be a spy, he doesn't get properly trained, and Filby and Lizzie didn't strike me as being too knowledgeable. Jake is specifically warned against adult help. Perhaps the title made me compare this with Stormbreaker, which had a more believable premise.