After saving the world in The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, our regular-guy hero is unceremoniously returned to foster care in Knoxville, Tenn. Hounded at school as a freak, living with wretched "professional" foster parents, Alfred is bored and depressed. He believes he's hit bottom until he is kidnapped, first by rogue OIPEP agent Mike Arnold, then by the Office of Interdimensional Paradoxes and Extraordinary Phenomena itself, at which point his classmates' harassment seems idyllic by comparison. For reasons Alfred doesn't immediately understand, his presence is vitally necessary to foil Arnold, who, after being fired by OIPEP, stole two ancient artifacts from the agency's vault: a ring belonging to King Solomon, and a vessel containing thousands of demons that have been locked inside for 3,000 years (and are really pissed off about it). Teamed with Op Nine, OIPEP's top agent, Alfred heads out on a whirlwind mission to recover the artifacts, traveling to the Sahara, Chicago and home again as the planet erupts in his wake. The emotional core of this novel involves likeable Alfred's unresolved issues about the death of his mother at age 12, and his sense of loss is palpably heartbreaking. The villain Arnold's issues remain far murkier, his motivation subsumed by the same Hollywood action-flick pyrotechnicsexplosive showdowns, multiple near-brushes with deaththat made the first book a hit with kids who might otherwise be playing video games. Ages 12-up. (May)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Fifteen-year-old orphan Alfred Kropp has barely had time to recover from his Arthurian adventures, barely had time to reintegrate into his usual role as high school loser and favorite scapegoat for his foster family, when all Hell breaks loose. Literally. OIPEP agent Mike Arnold steals the so-called Seal of Solomon and sets free all the archaic demons God and Milton have relegated to the everlasting fires. In short order our hero is extracted from his loving home life to sort out the mess. His only help comes from the stunning agent Ashley and the cyborg-like Op Nine. But can they really be trusted? Rick Yancey follows Alfred's first adventure with another no-holds-barred romp into the fantasy world of adolescent males. James Bond never had as many fast cars and techno toys to play with, but James Bond never had to look into the eyes of a true demon, either. Can our stalwart, plodding Alfred hold himself together long enough to succeed? Can he save the world yet again? Reluctant readers will have a heyday with this page turner.
VOYA - Kim Carter
Alfred Kropp, star of The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (Bloomsbury, 2005/VOYA October 2005), is back. Having survived his own death, the last descendent of Lancelot returns to the ordinary world of everyday high school, where "kropping"-tormenting and humiliating "Crazy Kropp"-is a popular sport. Resigned to mundane regularity, Alfred is again surprised, however, to find himself in the middle of international intrigue, double-crossing agents, metaphysical power, demonic yard gnomes, and fallen angels. With more over-the-edge action, this unlikely hero travels by supersonic plane, sandfoil, skydiving, horse, and broken-down car as he warms up to save the world-again, but this time from a horde of demons loosed from a sacred vessel and controlled by King Solomon's ring. Alfred's unflappably droll humor combines with nonstop, high-powered action as he faces his greatest fears, refuses to be seduced by his fondest dreams, and finds the courage, strength, and willpower to "look . . . away from the demon's eyes," proving why he is, to their chagrin, OIPEP's (Office of Interdimensional Paradoxes and Extraordinary Phenomena) greatest weapon. This series is particularly suited to young teen readersdare one say boys? with a penchant for fantasy adventure.
VOYA - Tabby Ball
The Seal of Solomon is a little difficult to get into at first, but once I gained a better understanding about the main character, I started to like it a lot more. It has a lot of action and mystery surrounding the main plot. With unknown identities and family secrets that spill out, you never really know who each character is until it all unravels. Alfred Kropp is an especially enticing character with his wit and sarcastic humor. If I didn't know any better, I would say that people are right to think him completely crazy. I recommend this book for people who like action and surprises or even anybody who likes a good twist.
School Library Journal
The Seal of Solomon has been stolen from the Office of Interdimensional Paradoxes and Extraordinary Phenomenon (OIPEP) by one of its own operatives, so once again the services of Alfred Kropp are needed. Alfred is an ordinary 15-year-old boy, slightly overweight, tall, with a big head, who gets bullied in the halls of his local high school. Of course, this same Alfred has blood that can heal, is the last son of Sir Lancelot, and is the sole heir to the Samson fortune. His is a name known by all and his mistakes are the kind that can end the world as we know it. As the Outcasts of heaven are released, readers follow Alfred through many fast-paced adventures, starting when he is kidnapped from his foster home in Tennessee and taken to many parts of the world. The teen hero parachutes out of airplanes, faces demons, and has a plan to save the world, if he can live long enough to carry it through. A great book for boys, as well as reluctant readers, The Seal of Solomon tells a rip-roaring story that teens will love and won't be able to put down.
June H. KeuhnCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Modern technology meets ancient legend as readers climb aboard Alfred Kropp's thrill ride to save the world. Although the last descendant of Sir Lancelot, Alfred is not an elitist but endures school humiliation and is flunking most of his classes. Rogue agent Mike Arnold has discovered the two Seals of Solomon and has unleashed demons upon the Earth. Alfred, a potential threat to Mike's plan for domination, is targeted for execution. A last-minute rescue saves Alfred from Mike's bullet, and the hero joins unflappable agent Op-Nine, and the gorgeous Ashley, as part of the special-forces team sent to derail the evil plan and retrieve the artifacts. The fast-moving storyline is geared to a male audience, and boys will not be disappointed with the gruesome consequences for those who look into the demon's eyes. The world's fastest car, huge CW3XD guns that use bullets laced with Alfred's blood and a death-defying sky dive are only a few of the other action magnets sure to attract middle-school readers. Fans of the first episode, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (2005), will not be disappointed. (Fiction. 10-14)
best-selling author on The Extraordinary Adventure Ridley Pearson
One of those unforgettable tales . . . that stays with you long after you are drained breathless by a captivating read.
best-selling author on The Extraordinary Adventure Bruce Coville
I read as I used to when I was a kid, totally engrossed and utterly unwilling to leave the world of the story. I want more!
From the Publisher
“*Starred Review* A great book for boys, as well as reluctant readers, The Seal of Solomon tells a rip-roaring story that teens will love and won't be able to put down.” School Library Journal
“The emotional core of this novel involves likeable Alfred's unresolved issues about the death of his mother at age 12, and his sense of loss is palpably heartbreaking. The villain Arnold's issues remain far murkier, his motivation subsumed by the same Hollywood action-flick pyrotechnics--explosive showdowns, multiple near-brushes with death--that made the first book a hit with kids who might otherwise be playing video games.” Publishers Weekly
“...[B]oys will not be disappointed with the gruesome consequences for those who look into the demon's eyes. The world's fastest car, huge CW3XD guns that use bullets laced with Alfred's blood and a death-defying sky dive are only a few of the other action magnets sure to attract middle-school readers. Fans of the first episode, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (2005), will not be disappointed.” Kirkus Reviews
“Readers won't have to have read the first title to enjoy this over-the-top adventure fantasy. Yancey manages a balancing act, blending action-packed scenes with tongue-in-cheek humor and occasional heart-on-sleeve sincerity.” Booklist
“The cinematic, or rather videogame, quality to Alfred's exploits will appeal to visual learners who can fill in the pictures themselves.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“This story of a ‘big-headed loser' is as funny as it is scary.” Publishers Weekly, starred reviews on The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
“Yancey has hit one out of the park.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review on The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
“With bumbling, lumbering, wisecracking Alfred Kropp by our side, there's never a dull moment on this bumpy ride that proves just how extraordinary ‘ordinary' can be.” Teenreads.com on The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
“One of those unforgettable tales . . . that stays with you long after you are drained breathless by a captivating read.” Ridley Pearson, best-selling author on The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
“I read as I used to when I was a kid, totally engrossed and utterly unwilling to leave the world of the story. I want more!” Bruce Coville, best-selling author on The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp