Review Blog

Jul 15 2013

Hunted by Gabrielle Lord

cover image

Conspiracy 365: Black Ops. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781742835198.
(Age: 10+) Crime. Thriller. Mystery. Young Adults. The second book in the Black Ops Trilogy hits the ground running as Cal narrowly escapes detection in Damien Thoroughgood's office. He's on a mission to find the truth behind the disappearance of missing girl Sophie and the suspicious activities of youth retreat leader Damien on Shadow Island. The pressure is on. He has 60 days to solve the mystery and it's crucial his 'double-act' cover as his twin brother Ryan isn't blown. With barely a moment to catch his breath, Cal is weaving through underground tunnels, driving mining machinery and venturing through a laboratory filled with strange potions, clues and robotic contraptions. Never far away, are the robotic spythons, watching every move he makes. But the sinister rumblings of the Island volcano create an even greater urgency for Cal to complete the mission.
With several books of action-packed fodder for young adults under her belt, Lord has truly mastered the formula for engaging young readers. The language is not overly technical, making it an easy read for 10-12 year olds. The power of the first person narrative will channel the adolescent psyche to Cal's quests and struggles in a hostile world.
Any negatives? With barely time to make my second cup of coffee, the book finishes abruptly amidst a scene of chaos. I wanted more - a little extra substance to sustain me until the next instalment. I guess I'll have to wait patiently - ready to tousle with all the other young readers out there when Combat is released, the last book in Black Ops trilogy. It can't come quick enough.
Michelle Hunt

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