Age Level: 13 and up
# of Pages: 339 p.
RAC Book: Yes
Award Winner: Iowa Teen Award 2009-2010
Alfred Kropp is a big, awkward kid whose father ran off when he was little and his mom recently died of Cancer. He is living with his Uncle Farrell, who works as a night security guard for a big business. Uncle Farrell is always trying to encourage Alfred to try new things and push himself harder so that Alfred can be more successful than he is when he grows up. When his uncle asks Alfred to help him with an opportunity that has come his way Alfred hesitates. He feels there is something shady about the person offering his uncle so much money just to steal a sword that the man claims was stolen from him first. His uncle threatens him with foster care, so he agrees to go along for the theft. Things do not go as planned, however, and Alfred feels he is responsible for allowing a dangerous weapon get into the wrong hands. As he begins his adventure to retrieve the item before it can destroy the world, he wonders if it is an accident that he became involved in the first place or if he is somehow connected to that magical sword.
This adventure story is full of mystery, suspense, and action. Kropp’s discovery of his true identity and his involvement in a plot to take over the world is interesting and exciting. The characters Kropp meets along the way are colorful and it is difficult to tell at times who is good and who is out to get him. His personality fits that of an awkward teen who has become involved in an unexpected adventure. Fans of the Percy Jackson series will be fans of this one as well, although there are fewer mythology references.