Review Blog

Nov 14 2011

Girl on the run: Ringmaster by Julia Golding

cover image

Darcie Lock on the run series. Egmont, 2011. ISBN 9781405247344.
(Age: 11-14) Spy books are definitely a strong theme for young adults and Ringmaster by Julia Golding adds to this genre. Unlike the Gallagher girl stories by Ally Carter, where the girls are specifically trained to spy, teenage Darcie Lock is an accidental spy. Her mother is overseas on a shopping spree (apparently!) when her father goes missing. It turns out, that unbeknown to Darcie, her father works for the British Intelligence Service and Darcie goes undercover as Agent Zebra to help find her Dad. Darcie receives a crash course in self defence and spy gadgets and soon becomes embroiled in an international smuggling ring.
Set in Kenya, this story is exciting and action packed as Darcie goes from one dangerous escapade to another. She is a strong, independent girl and this will appeal to female readers in upper primary and lower secondary school. The bright front cover of a female silhouette with butterflies and flowers, is definitely designed to attract girls.
Although the scenario of M16 asking a 14 year old untrained girl to help them with their mission is unbelievable, you forget the illogical situation and just enjoy the ride. I think this book will be enjoyed by students who love action and an escapist read.
A glossary of terms helps to understand some of the local language used in the novel.
This is book 1 in the Darcie Lock Girl on the Run series. The next story Empty Quarter is set on a cruise ship.
Jane Moore

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