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Posts tagged ‘Espionage’

Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover

don-t-judge-a-girl-by-her-coverBy: Ally Carter

Gallagher Girls Bk 3

Cammie Morgan’s holiday has just gotten fun, or so she thinks when she gets to join her friend Macey McHenry on her dad’s campaign trail. Fun takes on another meaning when she has to draw on all her skills to prevent her friend from being kidnapped off the roof of a building. Of course Cammie and Macey attend Gallagher Academy where they have learnt rather more interesting skills than those taught in an average high school.

This is just the start of the toughest period of Cammie’s young life because even though Secret Services have become more involved in Macey’s personal security, even when back at school, Cammie, Bex and Liz really can’t leave their friend out there essentially alone. The girls are determined to help keep her safe even if it means going against Cammie’s mother’s instructions. The more they uncover though the more surprising the truth appears to be.

This is a great addition to the series. This has a greater focus on friendship and it is wonderful to read the different character arcs particularly in this case, Macey’s. It is cool to delve into the different spy skills and how they can be utilised. These girls consider themselves family and this is how they treat the situation. When they try to do the right thing and get ignored they don’t give up, they do what they are trained to do. Smart, sassy, determined and more than a little stubborn these girls are not only entertaining they give examples of how girls are just as capable of achieving anything. They are also not invincible or infallible. Cammie’s weakness is her uncertainty of dealing with Zach, and this can unsteady her at the most inopportune tines, but when it comes down to it she will do what ever she has to to keep her friend safe.

Highly Recommended.

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

Published: 18 May 2010

Format: Paperback 263 pages

Categories: Family, Friends, Spy Stories

ISBN 13: 9781423116608

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of the page

Russian Roulette

I received my copy from the publisher.


By: Anthony Horowitz

Prequel to Alex Rider series

Yassen Gregorovich is an international assassin, he works for an organisation that wants Alex Rider dead. Life isn’t that simple sometimes as these two people who move in international espionage circles share a secret. This is a mission that forces Yassen to remember. He is forced to look at all the things that bought him to this point, the Russian town that no longer exists, the time spent living on the streets and doing everything he had to to survive, when in his first bosses employ. Yassen was trained to be a specific type of agent and some of that training holds the secret that he shares with young Alex.

This is a dark and intense novel. A look at the forces that can shape a young man’s life and lead him to a path of destruction. Yassen goes through some really horrible experiences but he is determined, in fact that is probably his strongest trait. So many stories look at the hero, the good guy, this one looks at the bad guy. It is an incredibly fascinating read.  The world created for this is so very knowable and thus believable. The things that take Yassen to the point where he faces Alex Rider and the secret that makes the decision for him. Horowitz has given us a tale that ultimately we know the end result of but knowing makes it no less engaging. You are drawn into wanting to know how Yassen gets from who he was to what he becomes.

Fans of Alex Rider will love this.

Publisher: Walker Books Limited

Published: 12 September 2013

Format: Hardback 416 pages

Categories: Action, Adventure, Thriller

ISBN 13: 9781406350869

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page


I received this from the publisher


By: Gabrielle Lord

Conspiracy 365 – Black Ops 1

Cal’s brother Ryan is missing, not only that but Cal receives a cryptic message that says ’90 days’. Cal has no idea what it means, even with Boges and Winter to help they don’t understand it. Then Cal finds himself asked to work undercover on an island getaway that is on the surface, a retreat for troubled teenagers. Cal agrees because that is where Ryan has gone. Things are very much not how they appear on the island. The more the brother’s uncover the more this is clear; secret hideouts, underground training camps and some very dangerous fauna and flora. This mission is turning out to be much more than finding a couple of runaway teens.

Fast paced action is what you get with this series, like the ones before it. Cal and Ryan are smart, gifted survivors. They are able to think on the run, act quickly and react appropriately, everything an action character needs, also they have some fun gadgets. This story lays out the groundwork for what is to come, the training of teens for specialist and covert work, but what exactly that work is isn’t yet clear. This is an action story and as such doesn’t have a lot of depth but then that’s not what you are really looking for when you read something like this. A fun way to pass some time and I’d like to know where the story is going.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 February 2013

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Adventure, Thriller

ISBN 13: 9781742835181

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Etiquette & Espionage


By: Gail Carriger

Sophronia is fourteen and a great trial to her mother and sisters. She simply doesn’t want to be a good lady, there are so many other things that hold her interest, such as how things work and spying on people. The family’s only hope is that finishing school can fix more than just Sophronia’s terrible curtsy. Sophronia finds herself enrolled in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

Sophronia hasn’t even arrived at her new school before she realises things are not at all what they seem. She soon discovers that in addition to dance, dress and etiquette she is to learn modern weaponry,intelligence gathering, seduction and poisoning just to name a few. As far as Sophronia is concerned things are definitely looking up.

This was rip roaring fun. The primness of Victorian manners and espionage create a great juxtaposition for a background. Carriger has taken the style of her Souless series and efficiently transplanted it into a new an extremely enjoyable young adult series. Sophronia is huge fun, she is adventurous, smart and quick thinking. Her mechanical pet is a quirky addition to the plotting as well as a very useful device. If you are anything like me you will find favourites amongst the support players, they are varied, there for different reasons and they add wonderful layers to the story. The humour is dry and writing full of wit, plenty of strong female characters who think, take action and don’t need rescuing. The background is a solid, visceral world that draws you in and makes you firmly believe.

If you like a good bit of espionage or are a fan of steampunk then this is a series you will love.


Publisher: ATOM

Published: 02 May 2013

Format: Paperback 320 pages

Categories: Steampunk, Adventure, Espionage

ISBN 13: 9781907411588

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

The Dark Deeps

By: Arthur Slade

The Hunchback Assignments bk 2

Modo steps out of his London comfort zone as he is thrust into the world of international espionage. Something has been happening in the waters, there are rumours of a lethal and mysterious underwater creature. He is not the only one on this trail. He is paired up with the beautiful Octavia and this adds further complications to his life.

This journey leads Modo to an incredible machine called the Ictineo, a remarkable feat of machinery, and an incredible underwater city. Along the way he is separated from Octavia and confronts French spy Colette. Modo isn’t sure how he will ever complete his mission for Mr Socrates.

The Clockwork Guild are not inactive though and play a key role in this mission as it unfolds. What is Dr Hyde’s hideous new experiment ? Will he be able to stay out of the hands of long-time enemy Miss Hakkandottir?

A great followup to the first book. Modo is a wonderful character; brave, smart and willing to do his best. At the same time he is always self conscious about his appearance. He is scared to reveal his true self to anyone and this colours so many of his actions. His two female companions in this keep his biggest secret foremost in his mind.

Both Octavia and Colette are strong female characters, more than capable of keeping up with being agents like Modo, on some cases surpassing him. The bad guys are cold and deeply nasty. Griff with his twisted nature, Miss Hakkandottir with her bitter, vengeful heart, and Dr Hyde with his evil experiments. Slade has created a complex world that is well coloured and layered. The steampunk elements are both intriguing and terrifying. The underwater elements fantastical and inventive. I love the steampunk genre and Slade hasn’t let me down. Adventure and fantasy mix so well together, if you like this sort of this definitely give this a shot, and even if you’re not familiar with the style take a look, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd

Published: 01 June 2010

Format: Paperback 272 pages

Categories: Steampunk, Fantasy, Action

ISBN 13: 9780732290450

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Zac Strikes Out

By: H I Larry

Zac Power Spy Camp Series Book 2

Zac is a spy for the GIB (Government Investigation Bureau). He is sent on missions against enemy spies. But every good agent knows they need to keep up with their training and for Zac that means Spy Camp. This time out his skill to practice is karate. Zac and Agent Small Fry head off to Black Mountain to be trained by Agent Ice Storm. Something goes wrong in the final testing, can Zac beat a crazy karate robot?

These books are broken into easily manageable chapters though there are very few illustrations. With very large print and a spy storyline it’s easy to see why these books are favourites with early readers looking for a little action in their stories. And of course they probably would love to get their hands on some of Zac’s cool gadgets.

Publisher: Hardie grant Books

Published: 01 June 2010

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Thrillers

ISBN 13: 9781921564758

Purchase: here

Time of Trial

By: Michael Pryor

Laws of Magic Series Bk 4

Aubrey Fitzwilliam is taking part in the nobel pursuit of cricket, but it seems even something so ordinary cannot stay that way with Aubrey around. The magical attack when it comes is quite impressive. Then into Aubrey’s possession comes the mysterious Beccaria cage and it could be the solution Aubrey has been looking for – a way to reunite his soul and body once and for all. But then it could also be something else, hiding a secret agenda. Then something happens to Aubrey and he only narrowly manages to escape a terrible fate thanks to his friends George and Caroline. Then more decidedly unusual things start to happen and Aubrey decides he has only one real course of action – confront his nemesis Dr Tremaine. 

With the ever trustworthy George and the dauntless Caroline at his side, Aubrey travels to Holmland’s capital Fisherberg. He is deep in the heart of hostile territory here yet with all things Aubrey gets entangled in it doesn’t stay focussed in one direction. Before he even arrives he is thrown off a train and finds himself mixed up in a plot involving brigands and black market weapons. As well as the usual magical conundrums and near death experiences there are ghosts to deal with. Can Aubrey deal with everything and do enough to prevent Dr Tremaine’s plotting before the world is plunged into war?

Another exciting and entertaining installment in the Laws of Magic Series. It is so easy to get swept away into the intrigues of this world and the smalled but none-the-less important issue of Aubrey’s great dilemma. There is sophisticated magic, quick thinking and characters that just work so incredibly well together all in a world bought to life through Pryor’s wonderfully steam punk descriptions. These were the first speampunk novels I read and I very quickly became addicted.

Publisher: Random House Australia

Published: 01 July 2010

Format: Paperback 432 pages

Categories:Adventure, Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy 

ISBN 13: 9781864718652

Purchase: here

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