Sure Fire (Rich and Jade Series #1)

( 16 )

Overview

For twins Rich and Jade, their lives have just been turned upside down. When their mother is tragically killed in a car crash, their long-lost father, John Chance, appears to collect them at the funeral. He’s a bachelor who lives on his own, and it’s clear that Rich and Jade aren’t welcome. But when Chance suddenly disappears, Rich and Jade uncover the truth: He’s a spy. And now, whoever kidnapped their father is after them, too. Sure Fire is a gripping adventure from the master...

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Overview

For twins Rich and Jade, their lives have just been turned upside down. When their mother is tragically killed in a car crash, their long-lost father, John Chance, appears to collect them at the funeral. He’s a bachelor who lives on his own, and it’s clear that Rich and Jade aren’t welcome. But when Chance suddenly disappears, Rich and Jade uncover the truth: He’s a spy. And now, whoever kidnapped their father is after them, too. Sure Fire is a gripping adventure from the master of the modern thriller.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The internationally bestselling author of The Eagle Has Landedpartners with Richards (the Invisible Detective series) to write this standout YA spy novel. Following the unexpected death of their mother, teenage twins Jade and Rich Chance are shipped off to London to live with John Chance, the father they never knew of. Right from the beginning it's clear he has secrets, and when the twins witness his kidnapping by men with guns, they are propelled into a world where no one can be trusted and everyone shoots to kill. The mystery thickens as they discover their father works for the British government and was investigating a powerful businessman, Viktor Vishinsky from Krejikistan, who plans to introduce a virus that would cripple the world's oil supply. As with many mystery thrillers, plausibility isn't on the agenda. The authors need neither gimmicks nor high-tech machinery, instead tailoring their vocabulary and style to keep the action at breakneck speed. Each chapter ends with a cliff-hanger, maintaining the high level of suspense. With readers looking for an Alex Rider-type adventure, this will be a sure-fire hit. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information\
Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
Rich and Jade are fifteen-year-old twins who have lost their mother and must live with the father they have never met. When he disappears, they discover that he has been working as a secret agent. They eventually find out that a Russian oil baron who is seeking a valuable fluid has their father in custody. Unable to get the information they need from him, the Russians try to capture Rich and Jade. In a series of adventures, spies are shot and wounded, Rich and Jade escape from some unlikely situations, and they find their father where he is imprisoned. More explosions, chases, and escape plots continue until the Russians villains are put in their place and the family is together again. Unable to make an emotional connection when they first met, they now are united as a family. The story has lots of action that keeps the adventure going, but much of it is unrealistic and contrived. Young readers who are interested in the spy genre may find it entertaining.\
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up- Rich and Jade Chance, 15, find their world turned upside down when their mother dies in an accident. They believe that they are orphans until they meet a man at the funeral who claims to be their father. Suddenly, and unhappily for them, they move to London with him. Then he disappears, and they soon discover that he leads the exciting life of a British secret agent. He has been assigned to infiltrate a Russian oil company that suspects that he has the only remaining sample of a valuable fuel that they developed. The twins are thrust into a world of oil barons, secret meetings in fancy hotels, violence, and tension-filled rescues. Fans of Alex Rider and Tom Clancy books will revel in the oil-refinery explosions and secret writing on ice cubes. The spy lingo and the equipment detail will hold teens' interest, and the nonstop excitement will give reluctant readers something to cheer about.-Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
Fifteen-year-old British twins Jade and Rich don't know what they're going to do when their mother is killed in a traffic accident. Then a father they didn't know was alive comes to the funeral and takes them to live with him in London. John Chance is far too mysterious about his life for Jade, and neither twin plans on going to the boarding schools he's started calling. When they see him kidnapped by gun-toting thugs and find the police won't help, Jade and Rich decide a hard-to-live-with Dad is better than none. The truth they find is more amazing than expected-Chance works for British Intel and has been undercover trying to stop a Russian oil baron from controlling the world's oil supply. The kids rescue their father, and the three of them save the world's oil. Prolific adult-thriller author Higgins teams with Richards, of Invisible Detective and Doctor Who, fame to create a page-turning spy thriller without resorting to the hyperbole and science-fiction gadgets of Alex Rider and Spy Kids. Well worth your teen thriller dollars. (Fiction. YA)\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399247842
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/18/2007
  • Series: Rich and Jade Series , #1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 717,117
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Higgins lives on Jersey in the Channel Islands.
Justin Richards lives in England.

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Interviews & Essays

Q & A – Sure Fire: Jack Higgins with Justin Richards

Why did you write a book for young adults and what interests you about this audience?

Jack Higgins: The astonishing thing about young adults is their ability to cope with literature at the highest level. I gave my 9–year–old granddaughter a copy of A Christmas Carol and she devoured it and loved it.

Justin Richards: I write mainly for children. There are lots of reasons for that. One is that when my older son, Julian, was about 9 years old he was a very good reader, but it was difficult to find books that were challenging enough yet still appropriate to and interesting for his age group. Partly because of that I started writing The Invisible Detective.

I think writing for children is more liberating and also challenging to a writer – writing for older children in particular. They are much more discerning than adults in many ways. They don't let you get away with anything. Today, a child's attention span is much shorter so there's a challenge there to grip and hold their attention. I think there's more leeway in children's and young adults' literature. You can write the most fantastical stuff and its not pushed away into some niche or seen as being some minority genre. For instance, I think if Philip Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy had been published explicitly for adults they'd have been badged and sold as science fiction / fantasy and wouldn't have had the impact – people would not have found them, let alone realized how they use the fantastical, other–world elements to talk about ourselves here and now and how the real world works. Ordoesn't.

Which of Rich's characteristics would you most like to have and why? What about Jade?

Jack Higgins: Rich gives a false impression of the kind of person he is. He's quite capable of handling the rough stuff, danger and so on. And that's good because it fools the bad guys. Jade has taken over to a remarkable degree. She's quite simply a female James Bond.

Justin Richards: Rich is quite analytical. He has a knack of seeing the wood despite the trees – of understanding what's really important in a situation, even under pressure. I like that. He may be frightened, or out of his depth, but he's still able to make decisions and get going to do what he believes is the best thing. Jade is rather more emotional. But because she has no qualms about speaking her mind, you know where you are with her. There's an honesty there which I admire. She doesn't take to people immediately – they have to win her trust. But once they do, she's going to stick by them. And heaven help anyone who betrays her!

Are there any parts of Sure Fire that are based on current events?

Jack Higgins: Yes. Problems with all kinds of fuel, oil and gas are to a certain extent creating a cold war with Russia again.

Justin Richards: Despite what I said about having a license to tell the most fantastical stories, Sure Fire is anchored very much in the real world. Krejikistan may not be a real place, but the sorts of things happening there – in both politics and the economy, the way the crime lords are taking over, the dependence on Russia for fuel . . . All that is going on in various places in eastern Europe. We've brought several of those situations together and increased the pressure as a result. But everything that happens could be for real. As for whether it's actually based on real events – well, yes. The fuel arguments between the Ukraine and Russia is an obvious 'source'. But once you get into the murky worlds of espionage and special operations, then the truth is often more bizarre than the fiction. There are things that do happen in the real world – like radioactive assassination, to take a recent example – that we'd never get away with in a book. The readers just wouldn't believe it could happen!

Who were your favorite authors growing up and who are your favorite authors now?

Jack Higgins: Growing up: Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Anthony Hope, J Rider Haggard

Now: Wilbur Smith

Justin Richards: Thrillers – from Enid Blyton's Famous Five on to 'classic' thriller writers like Alistair Maclean and – yes, Jack Higgins has always been a favourite author of mine. So working with him is a dream come true. Other modern writers I admire very much, writing for young adults – Philip Pullman, Anthony Horowitz who has given children's adventure stories such a boost, Stephen Cole, Jonathan Stroud . . . We are so lucky to live in an age where there are so many good children's writers and their work is appreciated and respected – and a lot of that is thanks to JK Rowling, another favourite of course...

What advice can you give to aspiring writers?

Jack Higgins: People always say, "write what you know". This is false information. What you need as a professional writer is the gift of creativity. Most writing is make–believe.

Justin Richards: If you want to write, if you want to improve and learn as a writer, then the two most important and useful things you can do are – read and write. The more you read, the more you will understand how words can be put together, how they work, how to do the job if you like . . .

And while you definitely need some talent and skill, writing is also a craft. It's like a sport that you have to train for. The more you do it, the more you practice, the better at it you get. Try to write something every day – even if it's an email or letter. Keeping a journal is a good idea. The great thing about writing is you can do it for pleasure, just for your own enjoyment. If you want to be published and make it a career, then that takes a lot of hard work as well as talent. And it takes a lot of luck too. So – good luck!\
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    a Sure Hit

    Jade and Rich's mother recently died in a car accident, leaving them with a father they've never known. They had no idea they existed the funeral. Now, they are stuck together in a small apartment hoping for the best. At first their father decides to send the twins to boarding school for the rest of the term so he can finish a project. But the twins reject that idea. They're still trying to learn all of his quirks, but he's been acting so strange with blocks on the phone, passwords for his computer, and late night phone calls that turn into meetings. When he disappears, they discover the truth --that there father is a spy and they might be the only ones who can save him.

    Jack Higgins writes adult spy novels, so it's awesome that he and Justin Richards team up to create a fast paced novel. Fans of Alex Rider are sure to love the action, adventure, and excitement surrounding the twins.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2008

    Very good book

    My 12 yr old son got the book and read it, I then read the book. Very good book a classic Jack Higgins book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    a good read

    Jach Higgins did a good job providing a fast paced, on the edge of my seat, action spy novel. good job jack,

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    What would you do if you found out your father was a spy? This b

    What would you do if you found out your father was a spy? This book was set in Krejistan and London in present day. Chance, a father of two children goes missing, so Jade and Rich have to race for survival. Rich and Jade are all on their own since their mother had just died. Now they have to do anything to get their father back. I think this book was one of the best novels I have ever read. Jack Higgins, the author, is very good at writing action pact novels. There are bombs, guns, fire, and any kind of army force you could think of. I recommend this novel to people who like fast-action paced and suspense novels.
    Hibah K.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Total suspense

    Kept me turning pages till 2 a.m! I need to read the whole sries again

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