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Full Name: Max Segreda
Nationality: Unknown
Organization: Merry Sunshine Orphanage
Occupation Agent

Creator: Bruce Hale
Time Span: 2013 - 2015


Max Segredo is an agent with S.P.I.E.S.

That rather telling acronym stands for Systematic Protection, Intelligence, and Espionage Services. It might be obvious by that name, especially the 'Services' part, that this is a business whose main purpose, like every other business out there, is to make a profit, or at least break even. It does so by hiring its team of highly trained operatives out for dangerous and difficult missions.

It knows that its agents, like Max Segredo, are fully trained because it does the training itself and its students are all found as wards of the Merry Sunshine Orphanage. That locale can be found in a "neighborhood of shabby redbrick homes and down-at-the-heels businesses". Its "grimy brick building" was just like all the other grimy brick buildings on the street except for the "wicked-looking spikes and barbed wire decorating the rooftop edges, the barred windows, and the discreet cameras watching the street and walkway". Seeing it for the first time, Segredo said snidely, "Cheerful place. Who's their decorator, Martha Paranoid?"

The orphanage is run by Hantai Annie Wong, a tall, skinny woman who comes across as quite formidable to Segredo from the moment he arrived and she answered the knock on the door by the case officer with a snarl and holding a pistol.

Segredo is being sent there because he is, and has been for some time, an orphan and the system has run out of foster homes willing to give him a try. The latest one demanded he be remanded when their house was engulfed in flames. Segredo swears it was not him but once you have a reputation for pyromania, it kind of sticks.

Segredo is of mixed race; as he describes it, his mum was Thai and his dad was "some white guy [who] ran off and died" when Segredo was little. Since the passing of his parents, he has gone through several fosters already. His first three died (one eaten by a crocodile, one executed by a Gurlukh warlord, and one fried in a bathtub accident where a radio and yoyo were involved). The others rejected him because of accusations of arson and theft. [On that last one, Segredo is shocked to hear Director Wong chide him with a "if you are stealing, don't get caught".

That is when Segredo started to realize this was no ordinary orphanage. The learning it was a school for spies would come immediately afterwards.

Oh, one more thing. S.P.I.E.S. has a archenemy in LOTUS, an international group bent on world domination. They are especially anxious to take out Director Wong at the same time they take down S.P.I.E.S.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2013
Last Appearance:2015

1 Playing With Fire Playing With Fire
Written by Bruce Hale
Copyright: 2013

"Max and the rest of the students are sent on a mission to keep a dangerous weapon out of the hands of LOTUS. Of course, all Max cares about is finding out more about his father, the man he's now sure is still alive. As the stakes get higher, Max must make some difficult choices, including who to trust, and finally learns the true meaning of family."
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2 Thicker Than Water Thicker Than Water
Written by Bruce Hale
Copyright: 2014

With the school in uproar from new attacks by LOTUS, a mysterious billionaire hires S.P.I.E.S. to steal a mind control device. The contract can save the school financially but they only have 3 days to pull it off.
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3 Ends of the Earth Ends of the Earth
Written by Bruce Hale
Copyright: 2015

Max Segredo's life seems about as bad as it can get with the school burned down, the fellow students scattered, and himself in a cell at LOTUS HQ. Well, it just got worse when he learns that LOTUS leader, Mrs. Frost, wants to adopt him!
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As a change of pace, I enjoy reading Young Adult spy series, especially when they involve schools where the adolescents are trained. That is what you get with this three short book series.

The stories are very fast reads and are the sort I would happily have handed to my children back when they were children had they any interest in spy fiction. Same, that. These are fun stories. I definitely would have been a huge fan had they existed in the previous century when I was their age.

These books do have a few fun twists to them. A foster parent eaten by a crocodile? That is a new one for me!


My Grade: B


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