Review — Amplified

The first of the newest four books in the series find the youngest members of the Revolution crew working together without direct supervision. Things are going well at first: Dylan and Amy are scoping out a skate park in Minneapolis, and Joey and Omar are checking out some local caves in St. Paul, both teams hot on the heels of the magical skateboard fragment they have traced to the region. Both teams soon run into trouble, though, when members of the Collective, their evil counterparts, find the teens and attempt to claim the fragment for themselves . . . this series seems like NCIS for ‘tween boys. With the silver-haired and unflinching director, Eldrick, followed by his loyal, talented, and street-smart team of agents, each book plays out like a new episode: a different villain, a new location, a special agent’s skill set highlighted, maybe even a little flirtation between the cast. The series is gratifying for the same reasons the favorite TV drama is gratifying: because it is familiar, part changing story and part single overarching narrative (to get all of the magic fragments of Tony Hawk’s busted skateboard). The shift to graphic novel style at the climax in each book also adds to the visual quality of the series.

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