Alex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves by Regina Doman, Regina Doman, 2010, 218 pp. Ages: Mature Teens and Young Adults.
In Alex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves, we are reintroduced to Alex and Kateri (characters from Waking Rose). Alex is madly in love with Kateri, but Kateri is not so sure about this guy with the pony tail, ear ring, and tattoos. Does she really want to spend the rest of her life with him? After all, he is into gaming and martial arts. How far will Alex go to prove that he loves Kateri?
Is it a love story? Or is it a suspense thriller? Cyberthieves are onto Alex's dad. Alex's Uncle's death was no accident. Who will be the next victim?
How is this book different? While the plot is predictable, since it follows the outline of Ali Ba Ba, there are plenty of surprises along the way. How does an average, middle class family purchase a hotel? Even more surprising is how do 40 thieves try to capture a hotel? And the most surprising is the end! As the plot develops, there are many themes for the reader to pause and reflect on. Who is a good person to marry and why? The characters are real people, struggling with their human faults while still trying to do the right thing. The characters are likable. We empathize and sympathize with them. Sprinkled throughout are Catholic references. When a tense situation arises, Kateri recites her rosary. Not just Catholic traditions, but lots of Catholic teaching is brought up, not preachy, but in a natural way. What does it mean to be honest? What is a good conscience? How should young people who are dating treat one another?
This fast paced story of mystery, murder, and mayhem keeps the readers' attention riveted until the surprising end.