This is the second book in Buckley's National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society series (or simply Nerds).
Five fifth graders who are bullied and teased are secret agents for the goverment. In the first book new recruit Jackson Jones was front and center. This time its Duncan Dewey. In this mission the team is up against a former agent.
The team is too dependent on gadgets. The former agent exploits this weakness. The team must relearn how to be effective agents without technology. This is especially hard for Duncan.
"He wasn't telling you that you should carry off every device they have in HQ. He was telling you that you didn't need them to do your job. In fact, he was telling you that you are perfectly fine to do this mission and that you should stop blubbering about your upgrades." It's OK, Jackson said. "Everyone gets the man up speech once or twice in their lives. I've just never met anyone who didn't understand it was a man up speech." "Duncan looked at his teammates. They were all nodding in agreement."
This was a wonderful follow up. I enjoyed it as much as the first one, and I loved the first one. Buckley simply has a way with characters and dialogue. As the story progressed it was nice to see Duncan, learn how to trust in his abilities again. Towards the end when there's a car chase its a whole new Duncan. He delivers a great line to one of the bad guys.
Early on, I missed the Hyena, the young hit girl for hire in book one. Though knowing she would be back in future books and after seeing some of the new characters more then made up for it. Once again Nerds is action filled, very funny and entertaining. A must read for fans of book one. This series should be read in order. Book one is out in paperback. ages 8 up