Saturday, September 25, 2010

I, Q: Independence Hall by Roland Smith

I, Q: Independence Hall

Author: Roland Smith

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

4 out of 5 stars

Q’s life has never been what you or I might call normal. From living on a small boat in California, to living on a tour bus, well, an expensive new motor coach to be exact, and traveling the USA for a year! This is just one of many examples of how Q’s (short for Quest) life changed dramatically when his mom remarried. Now, let’s rewind a bit, shall we? Thirteen-year-old Q used to live with his mom, Blaze, on a small boat, just the two of them. His mom was divorced and singing was her passion. But all of that changed when she met Roger Tucker. He loves to sing and write songs as well, and has a fifteen-year-old daughter named Angela. Soon after they met, Roger and Blaze formed a band called Match. Somewhere along the way they fell in love. And that’s when they decided to get married, right as one of their songs was about to go platinum. 

Now, let’s get back to Q. Since his mom and new step-dad are now becoming a hit sensation, not only did his family change, but his life too. There are now paparazzi everywhere and he is going to be living on a motor coach for a year as his mom goes on tour. He will go to school online, and some dangerous people are following his family’s every move. Wait, hold up, why would some people be following Q and his family, and why are they so dangerous? It turns out that these people are Israeli Mossad agents. One day Angela realizes that one of them is following her. Through this, everything comes spilling out, and Q learns the truth about Angela’s deceased mother. She was a Secret Service agent who died in the line of duty. But what does this have to do with the armed group of undercover Mossad agents? As it turns out…everything.

Soon though, these people start to make Q and Angela more and more alarmed. Do they want to hurt Blaze and Roger, or kidnap Angela and Q? Angela and Q aren’t sure what to do, but they do know that they have to take action, and fast. What do these deadly agents want, and who was Angela’s mother really? All is revealed in Roland Smith’s fast-paced adventure, I, Q: Independence Hall!

This book was very well done. The story was perfectly set and the pacing kept you reading chapter after chapter. When I saw this book for the first time it caught my eye, and I’m glad it did! This story is very unique and has a mysterious edge to it. Throughout I, Q: Independence Hall the writing was very crisp and clean, and told only the bare minimum about the characters or situation. This left me guessing and wondering, only to end up putting my questions to rest later on. This book just kept me going!

One aspect of I, Q: Independence Hall that I really liked was how Roland Smith, the author, made the story so believable. By that, I mean that all of his information about the agents and spies seemed legitimate and made the story feel very real. As I read this book, it felt like everything going on in it could really be happening, right at this moment. Roland Smith really made it seem that he was very knowledgeable on this subject, which was a nice reassurance. After reading this book, I noticed that Roland Smith was also the author of many other books that I had seen around but never picked up. Now, after reading I, Q: Independence Hall I can’t wait to read some of his other books for young adults.

I also applaud the pace of the book, which seems perfect. It wasn’t too slow, and yet, it wasn’t too fast by giving you not enough information. Many times I would be reading a chapter and then it would end, leaving me pondering about all of the facts so far. This book constantly kept me guessing and wondering, until later when I found out a little bit more about what was really going on. This was great because it didn’t let the story get boring, and it kept me grasping at bits of info, wanting more.

It might have been nice if I, Q: Independence Hall was a bit longer, because it felt like the story ended too quickly. I finished reading it too soon and wish that it could have kept on going. However, the story of Q and Angela does continue in the sequel I, Q: The White House. So don’t worry, we still have more to hear from this sibling duo.

Another thing that I thought helped the book a lot, was the excerpts that were sometimes before a chapter. This was one aspect of the book that definitely grabbed me in when I first started reading I, Q: Independence Hall. These excerpts were nice because they gave me another perspective, and a chance to see what some other characters are up to.

Also, the characters are a blast! They seem so real, just like everything else in this book. You have Angela, a girl who is much more than meets the eye, Q who loves his magic tricks and puts them to good use, and there’s also Boone, a man whose story seems shrouded in mystery. All of the characters bring spice to the story and always seem to cause unforeseen problems.

I, Q: Independence Hall is a fast-paced story, with danger and lies around every corner. You have to stay on your toes and observe everything around you, or else get caught. Join Angela and Q in this exciting adventure all about being one step ahead and doing what’s best for everyone, in I, Q: Independence Hall!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out the I, Q: Independence Hall website at
I, Q: Independence Hall is available from Amazon here.

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