When it comes to TV shows, "The X-Files" may just be my all-time favorite. So, when I stumbled upon the new "X-Files: Origins" series, I had a bit of a "geek out" moment. Stories about the formative years of Fox Mulder & Dana Scully? Sign me up! Even better was the knowledge that these two titles, written by prominent YA authors, could also just as easily fit into HS fiction collections.
The first book in the "Origins" series focuses on a teenaged Fox Mulder. With his father always working on some shadowy government "Project" as part of the equally mysterious "Syndicate", Fox is left to chum around with high school pal Gimble and potential love interest Phoebe. When a number of children go missing, however, Fox discovers that his keen intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness to new possibilities puts him in possession of evidence that the police have yet to unearth (nor seem to care to). As such, Fox takes matters into his own hands (though he is followed--and perhaps protected--by a shadowy figure known only as "X").
What I really liked about "Agent of Chaos" is that it works on so many different levels. I've seen every X-Files episode multiple times, and I can vouch for a feeling of authenticity towards the Fox Mulder character. It really felt like I was reading about the early goings of the character David Duchovny would eventually inherit. The text is also packed with little "easter eggs" for the seasoned fans, from character traits to settings to phrases. All of that being said, however, "Agent of Chaos" is also a book that can be enjoyed by a teen with no X-Files knowledge whatsoever. Certain "aha!" moments will be missed, obviously, but the story can stand alone and be just fine.
Book #2 is all about a young Dana Scully, doing a lot of un Scully-like things (having visions, doing yoga, consulting with psychics) from the TV show character we know. As with the Mulder book, Scully comes into possession of "evidence" (via dreams/visions) in the case of a murder spree, but struggles to get anyone to believe "the girl who has visions".
While interesting/perplexing to see a young, open-minded Scully (so different from her buttoned-up portrayal by Gillian Anderson), it is also fun to see her relationship with sister Melissa (who believes in everything) as well as her military-straight Father.