ICDA

A government defense organization…

Evil gathers its forces…

Somethings coming…

Timmy never intended to look for trouble, but when a black-ops organization run by kids reaches out to him to deal with an extraterrestrial threat, he knows there is no going back!

Follow Timmy and his sidekick, Bethany, on an epic espionage mission through time and space! Will they fail their mission?

Get it now to find out!

Reviews

Score: 94/100 (9.4 out of 10)


What a fun, wild, and exciting ride! It seems like we read ICDA by Andrew Zellgert at just about the perfect time. We just got done reading several mind-bending books about anti-heroes trying to solve chaotic and crazy mysteries together, exploring everything from aliens and and time-travel, usually with surprising seriousness. The difference between many of those books and this one is that this book is plain, ole' FUN!


Andrew Zellgert clearly wrote this book for young adults, and it shows. There's a lightheartedness and sense of adventure that reminds us of a combination of The Sun and the Starlings by Barbara Hill and Einstein's Desk by Dominic Melillo. What a combination, huh? But they are all awesome books that, despite being tonally different, cover relatively the same grounds.


Something that immediately grabbed us and held us tight was the endearing and cute fantasy element of this novel. For example, one of the best characters in this book is a talking owl named Mr. Barns! Get it? “Mr. Barns” as in barn owl. We loved him! He's a mix between Dumbledore and R2D2 if you can even believe that. He's very wise (as an old owl should be) and serves as a great, loyal companion to the protagonists. There's also a talking brachiosaurus in here!

Anyway, moving on to the MCs... Timmy is a great blank-slate protagonist. Though he doesn't especially stand out as an elite character, he still gets us behind him with his youthful energy and positive disposition. There's also Bethany, another solid character. In fact, Bethany is an even more interesting and charismatic character than Timmy. She is a Mary Sue, but in the best wall possible. She's an extremely capable and intelligent young woman who is wise beyond her years, but she is still vulnerable and we are still able to worry about her and fear for her. Timmy and Bethany are constantly put into dangerous and difficult situations. They are constantly in peril. That's GOOD! Well, not good for them, but good for us as the readers. It constantly has us on edge worrying if they'll be alright. And we want them to be alright. They are truly protagonists that young people can relate to and cheer for.


Speaking of being on edge, there's a character in here who always has us on edge when he's around and that's Agent Orange, one of the main villains/antagonists. And, yes, his name is really Agent Orange, so people who actually know what that is can get a chuckle at the inside joke. Agent Orange is ruthless and relentless. He would obviously be played by someone like Michael Ironside or Peter Stormare if this were a movie. The guy just keeps coming. Just when you think the heroes are safe and successful, there he is again!


Despite Agent Orange probably stealing the spotlight, the main villain is the aptly named Beezley Bub (sometimes just called “Bub”), a demonic figure who steals a valuable McGuffin and declares himself the king of the universe. The hilarious thing is, when he declares himself the king of the universe, the protagonists basically have a “no you're not” conversation with him like this is the 4th grade and we're at lunch recess. The entertainment factor never drops. It just keeps going. Even when something serious happens like someone gets shot and killed, we still get a lighthearted time-travel subplot from it.


So, yes, we can definitely recommend this book if you're interested in a lighthearted fantasy story!


☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ -Outstanding Creator

We are ICDA. We are super-kids. We control everything in the cosmos. Here's some friendly advice: don’t mess with us!

Synopsis

Timmy was never meant to be a hero, but when Beezley Bub announces he is taking over the universe and plans to become the supreme ruler of everything, his plans change. Teaming up with a government organization that deals with intergalactic threats, Timmy finds himself meeting robots, soldiers, agents, undead armies, and assassins all with the hopes of catching Beezley Bub at his own game. Then his enemy attacks.

ICDA stands for Intergalactic Children’s Defense Authority. So if the title made you think of a terrific Sci-Fi story with a secret high-command set in an advanced, future age, etc., allow the bubble to burst! ICDA by Andrew Zellgert is a fantastic children’s story, written specifically to enthrall kids by empowering and putting them in the driver’s seat of all the action. Though a ‘Higher Order’ comprised of adults exists, they rarely intervene. Kids are tasked with managing the cosmos and they are the ones who run the show! They are the ones who travel in convertible spacecraft between intergalactic locations like planets and clouds, at supersonic speeds, battle with the bad ’uns, etc!


The story distinctly reminded me of the Harry Potter series. A typical Harry Potter scene might be like this: Potter is standing precariously on a ledge atop a skyscraper in a skirmish with gun-toting villains. Finally, he’s forced to jump off, but instead of falling to his death on the ground countless feet below, out from nowhere comes this huge, white owl that carries him safely out of sight… and on to his next adventure! ICDA’s adventures are quite similar!! Of course, there is more to this story: there’s a hidden mystery in it, but I’ll leave that out to readers to discover.


This book is fast-paced, action-packed, high-tech, and gripping — once you start, I'm sure you won’t be able to stop until you’ve finished it!


I enjoyed the story but had a problem figuring out who the true protagonist is. Notionally, Timmy is the hero, but it’s his sidekick Bethany, who masterminds the plans and carries out most of the action. Talking of errors, there is a handful, but since they don’t affect the enjoyability, you can treat them as inconsequential and ignore them.


Coming to the recommendation for this book, the verdict is very clear: it’s a book for kids and kids alone, so grown-ups, please stay clear if you’re looking for a book for yourselves! However, since kids usually don’t read book reviews, it’s their parents and adult relatives that are the intended audience. If impressed, you can outline the story to the kids you have in mind (or show them the review on your Internet-connected device). Once you have their approval, you can proceed with the purchasing and gifting. The target age group is kids between 9-15, so if you decide to buy, be prepared to read parts out to them and answer their questions too.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ -Raju Chacko