by Lynn Mason

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now


Terror-filled eyes. Lungs choked with water. A pounding heartbeat.
For Sydney Bristow, it’s a typical day in her not-so-typical after-school job–she’s an agent for SD-6, a top-secret division of the CIA. Or so she thinks.

This prequel is the first in a new series based on the smash ABC show Alias–it’s Sydney’s life before she discovers she’s working for the bad guys, juxtaposing normal college life against her fabulous exploits as a working spy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375890345
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 05/30/2003
Series: Alias Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,068,186
File size: 230 KB
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Lynn Mason has written several novels for young adults, including Love Stories Super Editions The "L" Word and All That.

Read an Excerpt


"You are not normal!" Francie screeched, waving a pale-pink-tipped finger at Sydney. "What kind of person takes Spanish and Chinese as electives?"

Sydney Bristow rolled her eyes, but a soft smile stole across her mouth. She'd only known Francie Calfo since the summer and already she was used to these occasional flare-ups. With her melodic voice and her flair for the dramatic, Francie could easily turn an everyday conversation into a highly charged debate.

"Tell her, Baxter," Francie said, elbowing her new boyfriend's lean, basketball-player arms. "Tell her that you're supposed to take electives like Famous French Films or Ballroom Dancing when you're a freshman."

"Hey, man, I'm staying out of it," Baxter replied, lifting his large hands in a gesture of surrender. "You two just keep on talking. I'm going to keep an eye out for that guy who sells ice cream." He swiveled around on the bench and leaned against the table, checking out the UCLA scene on a sunny September day.

"Come on, Fran. I like languages," Sydney said, turning her eyes back to her Spanish textbook. "I'm good at them. And besides, if I hope to get a teaching fellowship in a foreign country someday, it'll improve my odds."

Francie leaned forward. "Yes, but will it help you get guys?"

Sydney laughed. "I don't know. Foreign guys, maybe." She wished Francie would give it a rest. Ever since she'd started dating Baxter a couple of weeks ago, Francie had seemed intent on finding Sydney a guy of her own. Sydney had to admit she wouldn't mind either. But with one exception, she hadn't met any guys she would even consider going out with.

"So you're serious about this master teacher plan, huh?" Francie asked through a mouthful of salad. "You really see yourself standing in front of a classroom molding hundreds of minds? Young, obnoxious, sex-crazed minds?"

"Speak for yourself," Sydney said, stretching back so that her white T-shirt rose slightly over her non-pierced navel. Although she wouldn't say so to Francie, she'd actually been trying to picture herself in that very position. Giving lectures at a podium. Scrawling passages from Sartre across dusty blackboards. Gossiping with the other overworked, underpaid teachers in cramped, coffee-cup-strewn lounges. Doing the whole teacher thing.

Only one thing was wrong with her mental picture. It wasn't happening for her. Not good for an education major.

Sydney had been looking forward to college forever. She had sailed through her college boards, so she hadn't had to suffer through any of UCLA's required courses. So far she was having no trouble with her classes. It was the students who were daunting. Everyone here was a standout--high school valedictorians (she among them), goal-scoring quarterbacks, computer geeks, drama queens, and rah-rah cheerleaders, all trying to fit in.

Not that she'd gotten to know anybody. Nope, out of the, oh, 30,000 students or so at UCLA, Sydney knew a whopping total of three: Francie, Baxter, and her friend from track, Todd de Rossi. The introductory courses, with their large lecture halls and even larger lecture groups, overwhelmed her. And while she had never been intimidated by brilliance, being around faculty members who were among the top scholars and scientists in the United States was a bit unsettling. She had witnessed upperclassmen engaging in lively debates and discussions with professors in the halls or as they walked across Dickson Plaza. One day, she'd overheard a professor offer to meet with a student over coffee to discuss a problem he was having. The professor's generosity impressed her--and made her wistful.

I bet Mom was like that, Sydney thought now, clicking her pen open and shut. Laura Bristow had been a highly regarded professor of literature at UCLA. She had had a passion for learning and for teaching. But that was before she died in a car accident when Sydney was six.

It had been a typical, hazy Friday night in Los Angeles. Sydney's parents had gone out to the movies while she stayed home with her nanny. A car had come from the opposite direction, crossing over the road's centerline. Her father had swerved to avoid it, and had careened off a bridge. He had survived. Her mother had not.

"She didn't have time to know what was happening," Sydney's father had told her tiny, heartbroken six-year-old self, as if that small consolation made it all better.

Dad. Calm, cool, and utterly disconnected. The man was capable of smiling--there was proof of that in a sterling-silver-Tiffany-framed photograph he kept on top of his bedroom dresser of him and her mom and Sydney one sunny day in Venice. Mom, her hands on Sydney's bare, slightly peeling shoulders, laughing with her mouth half open. Sydney, holding a dripping ice cream cone, a smudge of chocolate on her chin, wearing that tank top with the rainbow decal. Dad, smiling over at his wife, at her obvious happiness.

Sydney couldn't remember ever seeing that smile in the flesh.

After her mother died, Sydney had grown up under her father's distant eye, spending more time isolated with her books than with family or friends. As time passed, her recollections of her mother faded. Just a few memories remained. . . . Catching fireflies in old applesauce jars with holes punched in the lids on a hot summer night. Riding the Matterhorn at Disneyland, screaming and laughing at the same time. Baking brownies and taking turns licking the orange Pyrex bowl clean. Watching her mother, her long dark glossy hair pulled back in a chignon, thumb through her collection of large, beautifully leather-bound books--a gift from her father that was now part of Sydney's own library.

It hadn't taken long for Francie to speculate that Sydney wanted to become a teacher not because she had a deep-seated passion to teach, but as a way to honor her mother's memory.

Was Francie right? Probably.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Alias 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Sydney and Vaughn together. Has anyone else noticed she never calls him Michael
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was so great! i had so much trouble putting it down! it was so much fun to read! this book is so suspensing! if u havent read this book u need 2!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I beg to differ! For I am Jennifer's biggest fan although she as an actress has nothing to do with the books. This book was awesome! I am a dedicated viewer of Alias. wednesday is my favorite day. gee! i wonder why!!! lol anyway, the book was very different from the show which is why i loved it so much!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read #2 first, because I didn't know it was a series. These books literally can NOT be put down! They are very fast-paced and exhilerating, and there's always a twist or turn to blow you away. #1 is great, but it just introduces you to the story. The rest of the books in the series are better. I'd definitely recommend this!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love the hit television series, 'Alias', you'd like this book. I merely started watching the series on the last season(that was foolish of me). It's cool and you could probably relate to Sydney's pre-CIA position-an outcast who has books for her life. And it's fun to read about a celebrious government in a fictional perspective. However, I warn readers that it has some gauche vocabulary in certain elements. It is safe that people under the pre-adolescent age of 11 don't read it, but it is still good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up in the library because i've basically read the whole library. Boy was i glad i did! This book was great, i love spy books, and this one topped it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
First book in the very suspenceful series. I couldn't put any of them down till I finished!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books i ever read! I find it interesting how Sydney has to keep her secret job confedential throught the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great one of the best i've ever read i read other spy/agent stories but this was the most intense I think it was a great story
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't always read, but I planned on collecting all of the Alias books and never read them. While I was on a trip to New York, I decided to read just a few pages. I couldn't put this book down!!! It was incredible, I am reading the entire series. When you read these books, it feels like you are there, like you are watching the episode as if it were an episode. These books keep your attention, and they have cliffhanger-type endings and they make you want to read the next book. All I can say is that these books are amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever!!!!!! it takes a while from the beggining to get started but then you get some action. i would suggest anyone to read this book boy or girl!!! ALIAS RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book!!! I recently started watching ALIAS. My best friend got me hooked on the show and i LOVE it!!! She let me borrow this book and i read it in 2 days. Sydney Bristow is a nineteen year old freshman at college and barely has any friends. she tries to get a job as a waitress at the restaurant that her friend Francine works at but she gets fired her first day. One day as Syd is alone studying for Spanish (i think) a guy comes up to her and talks to her about a job. he says he works for the CIA and they are offering Syd a job. he hands her a card and tells her to call the number if she's interested. Syd thinks that it is just a scam but soon she calls and ends up getting the job as a CIA. she goes through training and then the guy that gave her the card gives her a ticket to a rock concert. he also gives her a bracelet that has a camera on it and asks her to take pictures for his daughter. Syd goes and takes the pictures and then is invited back stage. she goes and finds out that the singer is in some group and she tries to leave but the singer is chasing her with a gun. finally she gets out after fighting the guy. she runs and gets picked up by some men in a van. she thinks that they are with the singer but they end up being with the CIA and they were tracking her. it was all a test and Syd passed. i LOVED This book and can't wait to read the next one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love the ALIAS tv series, and the book series definately lives up. The books aren't long reads, and aren't necessarily the most intellectually stimulating, but that's what is great about them. You can be any age from young adult to senior citizen to enjoy these action packed dramas. I have a bad habit of finishing them in one day as soon as I get them, they're such a good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an Alias fan, and I really enjoyed this prequel to the series. It is interesting to see how Sydney got her start with SD-6 and to see what her life was like before she became an agent. I especially like reading about her relationship with Francie and how much she needed Francie when she started college. It sheds some light on their current relationship. There are some inconsistencies with the series, but I had no problem overlooking them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i couldn't put it down. loved it!