Mar 21, 2015

Uncaged (The Singular Menace, #1)

Uncaged (The Singular Menace, #1)Uncaged by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is rated as teen, but those familiar with John Sandford's work know there is a lot of violence, and this series is pretty much the same as his Kidd series, but with young teens in the starring roles.

Odin (18 by the end of the book but Autistic) has joined an Animal Rights group, who are awed by his hacking skills. He uses his ability to get them into the Singular laboratory where cruel and inhumane experiments are being performed not just on animals but on people too. Odin breaks the groups rules and rescues a dog (named X), but he also takes several thumb drives, with encrypted files that reveal the loathsome experiments.

His 16 year old sister Shay Remby heads to L.A. to look for him. Cornered by some street thugs she is rescued by the eccentric artist Twist, who runs a halfway house for runaways. He also uses his art to convey political message and he hires Shay to help him unfurl a banner from a sky scraper. The stunt leads to her picture being plaster on TV and on flyers all over town leading Singular to her. They place her under surveillance and follow her when she meets Odin at the Beach. Odin gives her X and a copy of the thumb drives moments before he is kidnapped by goons from Singular.

West works for Singular, he was a soldier in Afghanistan, where he lost his legs. Singular hired West to do PI work and gave him new bionic legs. He was injured when he was trying to apprehend Odin, and Shay helped him. He gave Shay a way to contact him.

Shay smuggles X into Twist's halfway house, but when the dog appears to be dying she goes to Twist for help. They take him to a shady doctor and the dog is restored to health. Shortly thereafter the goons from Singular break into Twist's Halfway House and only because the street wise teens defend their turf does Shay and X escape. Twist, Cade, Shay and Cruz go on the run and hide out in Malibu. Shay contacts West and tells him to tell the people in charge that she has the files and she will release one every 24 hours until Odin is released. At first West doesn't believe that Singular kidnapped her brother, but his bosses reaction to Shay's ultimatum arouses his suspicions and he starts investigating the company. He finds where Odin is being held and they stage a daring rescue.

Odin and a young Asian girl are rescued, but West is killed when they are forced to leave him behind and now the Remby Gang is wanted for murder by the police.

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