Review Blog

Mar 01 2013

Chinese Whispers by Christine Harris

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Raven Lucas. Omnibus, 2013. ISBN 978-1-86291-929-7. 184 pages; p/b; rrp $14.99
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Chinese Whispers written by Christine Harris is a great conclusion to her Raven Lucas series. This award-winning author has a unique ability to engage the reader until the final page.
Although I have not read the earlier books from this series, I was hooked from its opening paragraph. Not only is Christine Harris's plot intriguing, her exotic panorama stretches from Australia to Malaysia, and her characters are lively and entrancing. The opening chapter is dramatic, and straight away captures the reader's attention. Harris punctuates her chapters with evocative phrases such as 'sirens punch the air'. Her novel is underpinned with great dialogue and bantering teenage humour that brings her characters to life.
Raven Lucas is a switched-on fourteen-year-old who is still searching for her missing father, and nothing will stop her until she finds him. As she prepares to travel to Malaysia with her closest friends Sarah and Jessica, she cannot imagine the adventure ahead: discovery of a murder in a Malaysian market, swimming with sea-going monitor lizards, and much more.
Raven hasn't been to Malaysia before, and her mother who is still recovering from a poorly disposition, does not want her travelling alone. She sends her housekeeper along as chaperone, but the question is, can she be trusted?
Reading the first two books from the Raven Lucas series prior to reading Chinese Whispers, will enable the reader to become fully acquainted with the variety of characters and their activities that make up this series. This book will appeal to middle-upper primary girls who seek adventure and mystery, and will provide a sense of the exotic for girls who one day would like to travel.
I recommend Chinese Whispers for inclusion in school libraries, and indeed for the home library of young girls aged 12+. Great value for money.
Colleen Tuovinen

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