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The Chase for the Chalice: Spy Goddess Volume 1    by Michael P. Spradlin & Rainbow Buddy order for
Chase for the Chalice
by Michael P. Spradlin
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)

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* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

As a way to draw female readers either towards manga or towards novels, Tokyopop and Harper Collins have teamed up to create manga versions of some of their popular series. Michael P. Spradlin's Spy Goddess is the newest series to take a graphic turn in The Chase for the Chalice.

Rachel Buchanan is a student at Blackthorn Academy, a spy training school that, for her, was an alternative to juvenile hall. The students of the Academy have spent time trying to catch Simon Blankenship, the leader of a cult devoted to the god Mithras. This time, the cult's target is a Mithrian chalice in Tokyo, so the students of Blackthorn head to where adventure awaits around every corner. Rachel is too busy shopping and enjoying the sights and sounds of Japan to worry about Mithras that is, until she is kidnapped. Now her friends must rush to save her from not one but two Mithras wannabes.

The illustrator for The Chase for the Chalice, Rainbow Buddy, does a nice job of turning an American novel into an American manga, complete with spunky heroines, cute boys, and cool grown-ups. However, the story leaves something to be desired. Sometimes, events happen too fast and it seems like something is missing, while at others the plot takes too long to develop, hurting the pacing of the story. Also, some of the characters are not fully developed, making it hard for the reader to connect with them.

I have not read any of Michael P. Spradlin's Spy Goddess novels, but The Chase for the Chalice seems easy enough to get into without knowing any of Rachel's previous adventures.

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