Agent Nomad: Deadly magic by Skye Melki-Wegner

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Random House Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780143780403
(Age: 14+) Deadly magic is the second book in the riveting Agent Nomad series by Australian author Skye Melki-Wegner.
I was impressed by Skye Melki-Wegner's first book in this series, confident that the next book would see the author honing her writing skills. In the first of the series, The eleventh hour, my enjoyment was minutely affected by the momentum of the story and the minimal character development. These downfalls were not evident in this second book. Deadly magic provides more insight into the characters and skilful technique in allowing events to build the story.
Our feisty and independent protagonist, Natalie Palladino, is nearly 16 years old now, and she has found a growing strength in her role as Nomad, a rare witness in the world of magical secret agents known as HELIX.
After the exciting adventure and personal discoveries of the London mission in The eleventh hour Nomad, Riff, Phoenix and Orbit are itching to leave training behind and go out into the field again. Their chance comes when all the cadets are sent to New Zealand for their annual camp and our team is put in charge of investigating a mysterious death with strict instructions to not get involved. After solving ingenious clues, the cadets find communication with their senior supervisors compromised and, being isolated from help, they now have crucial decisions to make.
Skye Melki-Wegner cultivates the teen topics that were touched on in The eleventh hour. We see how the team has further developed their skills in collaboration, not just within their own close-knit group but by allowing others to influence and guide their choices. A fast read with gripping adventure and compelling friendships. Once again there is a twist to the plot I did not see coming and I look forward to the next instalment.
Sharon Smith