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DetoNATE: A YA Thriller

DetoNATE: A YA Thriller

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When they recruited me to be a spy, they didn't expect me to discover the truth.

If you like Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series, Nancy Drew, or Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls Series, you'll love this sibling spy series filled with page-turning plot and bone breaking fight scenes. 

Main Tropes

  • Teen Spy
  • Return From the Dead
  • Spy Family
  • Cool Tech
  • Orphan
  • Quirky Sidekick


Nathan is an ordinary 15-year-old until he saves a girl from being mugged. Well, that and the fact that the AGENCY has recruited him to work for them in their child-spy division. Now he's being hunted by some seriously scary people.

When his grandfather is kidnapped, Nathan must track him down and help him escape. But what happens when Nathan finds out the people he's working for aren't as squeaky clean as he thought they were, and their secrets are just as dangerous as the person they claim to be saving Nathan from?

When you're surrounded by spies, everyone is suspect. Nathan must figure out who to believe, and how to escape those out to hurt him. Nathan's life, his grandfather's life, and his freedom depend on it.

DetoNATE is a page-turning teen spy thriller filled with action-packed fight scenes, snarky teen-aged humor, and page-turning twists that will keep you wanting more! If you like Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider, Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls, and Jillian Dodd's Spy Girls, you'll love DetoNATE and the other books in the Unleashed series.

Intro Into Chapter 1

Chapter 1:

On days like today, I miss Mom more than usual. She loved fall. Chilly, but not frozen—yet. With hues of reds and yellows on all the leaves.

In a few more weeks it’ll be too cold for the park, but for now, I can still go outside.

Mom would’ve come running with me. Maybe even Aleasha. If they were still alive.

I change into my favorite running pants, mumbling when I realize they’re too short. What did the doctor say last week? Lots of fifteen-year-olds grow four inches in a year? No wonder nothing fits.

The house is still quiet, which is to be expected. Grandpa won’t be up for another half hour. He doesn’t sleep well either. He’s usually puttering around the house well into the night.

I jump off the porch, hang a left after our tiny lawn, and head toward Riverfront Park, losing myself in the Led Zeppelin album I’ve nearly memorized.

Sweat covers my face by the time I’ve hit downtown—an urban jungle filled with beautiful sculptures, tall buildings, manicured parks, and
architectural elements of all shapes — perfect for someone into parkour, like me. Before
I reach the park, someone

I stop mid-stride and pull my ear
buds out to hear better.

Out of the corner of my eye, there’s movement. Five guys surround a teen-aged girl in an alleyway.

Short and skinny. Brown hair with a thick red stripe. She’s snarling, with her arms raised, blood dripping from her lip.

One guy, six foot-ish, muscular
build, and black hair, towers over
her, laughing.

He grabs her by the front of her T-shirt and cocks his arm back to

My adrenaline spikes.

I run full speed toward them with balled fists. I’m ready to fight.
Penetrating the group, I punch one guy on the back of the neck, leveling him.

I grab the leader from behind and fling him off the girl.

“What the--” The leader stumbles away from us.

I grab the girl’s arm, hoping I’ve startled them enough to make a quick getaway. I’m not so lucky.

The leader regains his footing and his face twists into a snarl. “Who the hell are you?”

“Nobody. I’ve come to save the girl,” I say, struggling to keep my
voice strong. I squeeze my hands into fists, hoping the others don’t notice how I’m trembling.

The leader chuckles.

His buddies creep up behind him, creating a semi-circle around us.

I glare back at them, imagining a list of different ways this could
go south.

How am I going to get me and this girl out in one piece? It’s not
looking good.

“C’mon,” I say. “Let us go. I don’t wanna get into anything.”

Laughing, the guy turns to his buddies. “Did you hear that? He doesn’t want to get into anything.” He points to his friend on the ground. “You should’ve thought of that when you cold-cocked Jeremy.”

The leader jerks his head toward
me and the group blitzes, everyone throwing punches at the same time.

Only a couple land anything
worth writing home about. The others grab at me or flail like idiots.

I dodge the first fist, feeling their hand graze my face. Before he pulls back, I hook my arm around his and slam my free forearm into his neck. I throw him to the

Someone else punches my ribs. I grunt, then step back and pivot, hooking outward with my arm. Slamming my hand into their neck, I shove upward. Their head jerks back and he falls to the ground.

I block another guy, then bring my leg up, snap-kicking him in the ribs.

His chest flexes inward from the force, knocking the wind out of
him. He flies backward onto his back.

I twist and slam my palm into the last guy’s neck, knocking him to the ground.

Grabbing the girl, I shove her toward the entrance of the alleyway. “Run!”

“I don’t think so.” The leader snarls and grabs her arm when she passes him.

He whirls her around. She yelps.

I grab his thumb, yanking it towards his wrist, forcing him to release her. With one quick motion, I punch his face and swipe his feet out from under him.

One of his buddies stands.
I kick the guy in the chest and he falls onto his back. Again.

“Run!” I yell at the girl. She tears past the guys, down the alleyway,
and out of sight.

“Oh, you’re gonna get it now,” the leader says, dusting his pants off and pulling a knife from his
waistband. “I’m gonna send you home in pieces.”

I put my hands in the air, breathing in the cool air to slow my breathing. “This has gone far enough.”

The group closes in.


 I feign left, then dodge right, using the scrawniest guy as a shield. Grabbing others by their shirts, I pull them out of my way till I break free of the hoard and haul butt out of the alley.

At the street, I run toward the park with all five guys in hot pursuit. I veer to the right and run over a bridge leading to a wooded area, past a couple
of kids carrying baseball bats.

If I’m lucky, I can lose the gang in the woods.

One of the guys keeps pace with me while the others lag. We reach the edge of the woods and I stop, turning to face him. These odds are the best I’m gonna get.

He’s panting when he reaches me, a metal baseball bat in hand.

Who carries around a baseball bat?

I remember the kids we’d passed. He probably grabbed it from them. Figures.

He steps toward me, grips
the bat with both hands, and swings.

I dodge, wait for his follow-through, then punch him in the jaw. His eyes roll backward into his skull. He falls to the ground, unconscious.

I pick up the bat and glance
up. The others are running
toward me like raving lunatics.

Running parallel to the Spokane
River, I tear through the park
toward the main part of the city: my personal urban jungle gym.

Time to lose these jokers.

At a cement stairway with two railings, I leapfrog from one railing to the next, then jump off the second railing, flip, and hit the ground.

At a six-foot wall separating two parking lots, I scale the chain-link fence and run through the parking lot toward a high-rise apartment building.

I glance over my shoulder to see if I’ve lost them. Crap.

I’ve only lost one. Three left.

I veer toward the first alleyway
I find. I’m met with a wall.

They laugh at the entrance, near the street and meander toward

They must think they have
me cornered.

I glance around. What do I have to work with?

I smile then turn. Gaining speed, I jump to the bottom rung of a fire
escape, and hang ten feet in the air.

 Grabbing the fire escape is no big deal. It’s like dunking a basketball, but with a pull-up at the end.

I swing my legs onto the ladder and climb.

As luck would have it, my weight causes the fire escape to drop.

The guys laugh and grab hold of the ladder, climbing, as I scramble upward. Gotta get some distance between us.

I reach the building’s roof. The guys are like little monkeys hot on my trail.

The thugs appear at the top of the fire escape while I’m weaving
in and out of exhaust pipes and air roof-top air conditioning units, looking for the door to the stairs.


There’s no way off this building
unless they throw me off. And the guys are blocking the fire

The leader sneers as his group slowly advances.

My stomach clenches and I break into a cold sweat. If they get a
hold of me, I won’t get out of here alive.

Again, my eyes dart from side to side, looking for an escape. Dread sinks into my chest and I silently curse.

There’s no other option.

I sprint toward the edge of the building, plant my foot on the outermost ledge, and push off, leaping into the air like a bird taking flight.

Behind me, the guys gasp and curse, followed by shouts of

When I land on the rooftop of the adjacent building, I roll several times until my momentum wanes. Then, I scramble to my feet, running far and fast away from them. Beat that, suckers!

Once on the street, I pull off my gray and white sweatshirt, wrapping it around my waist. Hopefully my dark blue Seahawks T-shirt will throw them off my track.

I’m about to veer towards
home when I hear a deep voice and flinch.

“That was pretty impressive back there,” the voice says. I whirl around, my arms raised, prepared to fight.

I’m face to face with some guy I’d never seen before. 6’3”, early 20s, lean build, green eyes. He flashes
a smile, showing straight white teeth, and holds out his hand. “I’m Drew.”

I look at his hand but don’t take it. Stranger danger and all that.

“I know.”

I step back. “How do you know?”

Drew shoves his hands into the pockets of his black wool jacket and jerks his head down the street. He ambles away, limping slightly. “Walk with me.”

I follow a few steps behind him, scanning the alleys for the guys I’d escaped. “How do you know me?”

Drew kicks a pebble with his toe. “We’ve been watching you for a while, Nathan.”

I stop. No way am I going a single step further with this guy. “Who are you? Why are you watching me?”

This guy has jumped from the mildly curious into the realm of creepy.

Drew glances back at me and shakes his head. “I’m not here to hurt you. I’m here to help you.”

“Like you did back there when I was running for my life? That kind of help?”

Again, he shakes his head, running a hand through his dark brown wavy hair. There’s a scar on his hand. It’s pink, which means it’s new.

“I was observing,” he says. “I needed to know how you’d handle yourself with those guys—in that sort of situation.”

“Really? And how long were you going to observe? Because I just hurled myself off a friggin’
building. It didn’t look like you trying to help me then.”

Drew’s lips curl upward at the corners. “Then you weren’t
looking hard enough.”


He walks again, and I trail after him.

“I was on the bridge overlooking the water,” he says, pointing
to a large rock at the top of a grassy hill.

“There. We had another person at the edge of the woods about twenty yards from where you leveled the guy with the baseball
bat. Another one was with a scope there.”

Drew points to a clock tower at the center of the park with an unfettered view of nearly everything within a half-mile radius.

“And believe it or not, we had a fourth on the top level of that parking garage in full view of
the rooftop where you leaped to safety.”

My mind whirls a million miles a second. Is he telling the truth? Is he making this all up? “H-how did you know I’d be in a fight this morning?”

Drew stops at a roadside vendor and buys a cup of cocoa. He offers me one, but I decline.
“You have a pretty predictable schedule, Nathan. It was just a matter of time in this neighborhood.” Drew shrugs. “I guess today was our lucky day.”

I squint into the horizon, trying to collect my thoughts before I turn back to him. “Who is ‘we’? How do I know you’re not lying? And why have you been watching me?”

Drew glances around. “I’ve said all I can say out here. Let’s go back to your place. I can answer your questions there.”

I raise both my hands in front of my chest and back up. “Nuh-uh. I don’t care who you are. You’re still a stranger—and a strange stranger at that. I’m not gonna show you where I live. What kind of idiot do you think I am?”

A smile tugs at Drew’s lips. “Fair enough, Nathan Summers. I guess I’ll be seeing you around then.”

Drew nods and walks away, still favoring one leg. He’s half a block away when a black Suburban slows to a stop. The passenger door opens. He glances at me one more time, hops inside, and the car pulls away.

I stand motionless, watching him leave.

When the Suburban is out of sight, I scan my surroundings one more time to make sure I’m alone, shake my head, and re-insert one of my earbuds.

Cranking up some AC/DC, I run at a full sprint toward home.

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