Shiloh's brother disappeared in service to the Zygans, and when she agrees to take his place as an agent, she embarks on a truly teen-friendly six-month training session in which classroom learning is minimized by uploading factual subject matter directly to the brain, leaving her free to "focus on the fun stuff, learning to drive, fly, fight, and work our Ergals." Ergals are devices which allow users to change appearance, levitate, shape-shift, and do a host of other things, and do much to advance the plot. In the words of Shiloh, her Ergal is "kind of like a Zygint version of a Swiss Army Knife."
A bad decision during a mission lands Shiloh in the midst of a covert operation. In an effort to make sense of her circumstances, she violates Zygan protocol, landing her in even deeper trouble. With the help of Spud and a diverse cast of alien characters, Shiloh crosses time and space in a thrilling adventure that weaves elements of Earth's culture--including the Ancient Greeks, a Christ-like character in the Ancient Middle East, and alien sightings in Roswell, New Mexico--into a galactic showdown between good and evil. Near the end of the book, some surprising revelations about the characters and the inner workings of Shiloh's Ergal raise questions about the motives of the Omega Archon, leader of the Zygan Empire, and the value of individuality and free will, weaving some philosophical threads into this brainy offering.
The text is studded with light-hearted references to popular culture, often in the form of footnotes, which add a humorous element in the style of Douglas Adam's Hitchhikers series. For example, an alien fuel problem leads the Zygans to build factories where the glowing yellow-green alien waste is sealed in plastic tubes and sold, "explaining" the existence of light sticks . . . Multiple plot twists and non-stop action, including many intense battle sequences, will keep fans of hard-core space adventures engaged in the story. Cerebral science fiction fans will enjoy the carefully detailed links between the Zygan Emprise and our Earth's history.
Reviewed by: Carolyn Bailey --ForeWord Clarion
Shiloh Rush and Spud Escott are two of a kind. Not only do they costar in a major sci-fi TV program for kids, they moonlight as agents for ZygInt, the intelligence arm of the Zygan Federation's military force. The Zygans, of course, are an intergalaxy federation that exists far in the future. Before paparazzi had ever followed Shiloh and Spud's spacecraft around the streets of Hollywood, Shiloh joined the Zygan military because her beloved older brother, John, disappeared while on a Zygan mission. She hoped to track him down by figuring out his waylaid path. In Zygan military training she met Spud, then a boy who was her match in looks, physical ability and smarts.
The two become a pair onscreen and off, and their adventures take them to many different centuries (the Zygans have perfected time travel) in search of John. Pascal's writing . . . is terrific--her narrative voice pulls the reader in and invests Shiloh with palpable emotion for her lost brother. The pacing is fast and continuous . . . an amazing piece of storytelling. A fantastic science-fiction ride for young adults. --Kirkus Reviews
From the Inside Flap
Singularity Channel viewers may recognize Hollywood actress Shiloh Rush as Space Cadet Tara Guard from the sci-fi TV series Stargeant Guard, but nobody knows Shiloh is leading a double life. Haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her favorite brother, Shiloh hopes to follow in his footsteps and track him down as a secret agent for the Zygan Federation, an intergalactic empire still hidden from Earth. During this quest, Shiloh and her British co-star Spud, also a Zygan agent, fly into space--for real--to stop terrorists and invaders who could destroy the Federation and kill millions throughout the universe. Sent back in time to Earth's Ancient Middle East to save the life of a young prophet and prevent Earth's destruction, Shiloh and Spud stumble on a diabolical conspiracy and barely escape with their lives. Their assignment sabotaged, Shiloh and Spud discover the villains' real mission, face powerful enemy fighters from warrior planets and traitors from their own ranks, and race against time to save Earth.