Alfred Kropp and the Thirteenth Skull, by Rick Yancey, teen category
After saving the world from complete destruction twice, you'd think Alfred could get a chance to sit back and relax for a bit. Nope. This book takes up just minutes after The Seal of Solomon ends, and it's back into the fray for Alfred.
If you haven't heard of this series (and it seems to be a well kept secret), you are missing out. Alfred is an unlikely hero. He's a pretty normal guy. But he finds him self over and over again in extraordinary situations.
I don't want to say too much here, in case you haven't read the first two, but I will say that several characters are back. The most frightening this time around, though, is Special Operative Nueve, a complete psychopath who is either Alfred's only hope or his worst nightmare.
I love this series! Alfred is such a great character. I think what makes him so appealing is that he has absolute certainty that he really is no one special. But he's the only one who can do what he does. He makes the right choice, again and again, even if that is a tough choice for himself. He never fails. That's what I love about him.
Highly recommended. This is a violent series, with lots of religious references, but it would be great for most teens. Plenty of action, no real language, and a great hero.