Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.
Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.
In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth.as they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past.
Before I start talking about the book itself, I want to explain the rating a little. All the other reviews I’ve done, I’ve given the books five out of five stars. This makes it seem like I’m very easy going on books, and that I tend to love all the ones I read no matter what, but this isn’t the case. So far, as I’m just getting started, I’ve only been reviewing books I’ve reread recently, so they tend to be favorites of mine, and thus score higher. Just because this book doesn’t have a five star rating doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it – on the contrary, I think this is the best book of the series. But I also think this book, the fourth in the series, isn’t quite as spectacular as her other series, Heist Society (which I already reviewed), and there are minor things that get on my nerve. For example, the author likes slipping in little statements about all the Gallagher Girls’ past achievements, like duct tape, something that’s frequently mentioned. I don’t know why but this always annoys me – maybe I find it bragging or just something that most teenagers wouldn’t throw out casually like that. The voice of the book, a sixteen/seventeen year old spy-in-training, doesn’t always have the voice of a teenager, and maybe that’s something that makes these statements more annoying.
The writing also takes a lot of breaks to talk about feelings. I’m not saying this is a bad thing – in fact, I think this is one of the things I like about it. They make the characters, mostly Cammie, more real and easier to relate to. In fact, my writing style tends to be like this (although my current stories probably rely too much on emotions and may drag it down, but that’s what rewriting is for!), and I think this is a great example of making it work. And I read this book pretty quickly, anxious to find out what was going to happen next, so I definitely consider this a good book.
There’s a lot of mystery in this series, mostly mystery that started popping up with the second book. The first book was more of a fluffy introduction, a girl spy falling in love with a normal boy and trying to date him in secret. There’s some depth to the story but for the most part it was an entertaining read for a rainy day, but not something that really makes you think. Then, more signs of an arc throughout the series began to start in the second book, but I had a little bit of a problem with how it seemed to introduce a lot of things that weren’t wrapped up by the end. The third book started helping, though, and I feel like this fourth addition to the series is much smoother and starting to clear up some of the confusion of the earlier books while still introducing more questions, which will hopefully all be answered in the next two books (I think I read somewhere that this series is supposed to be a six-book series).
Towards the end of this story, there were a lot of surprising twists that I totally didn’t see coming. It’s sad but I really had no idea about these twists. But it wasn’t because they were written in a way that made you stare open-mouth at the page and think WTF to yourself because it makes no sense – there were clues that could have tipped me off, I just was probably reading too fast to even notice them.
Overall, I think this is definitely the best book in the series so far, and Ally Carter’s writing is certainly improving with age. There was even more romance in this book, when they weren’t busy trying to solve all the mysteries and doing spy stuff, not to mention school. I can’t wait to read the next book now, although the author hasn’t even started it yet, sigh (she’s working on the next Heist Society book, though, so yay!). This book definitely has less fluff value and is more deep, something that can make you pause and think rather than acting as a sort of literary cotton candy, while it still goes down easy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars