Review: Euro Spies

Samia is delighted to discover that she has won a holiday to Europe, but doubt sets in as events take an unexpected turn, and she uncovers a darker side to the plans for her to tour the continent’s most celebrated cities.

First, she finds that she will be travelling by Euro Metro – a secret underground railway that runs from Glasgow to the heart of Europe – then there is the terrifying warning from the on-board chef, and the shots fired in the middle of the night. All before they reach Paris.

Samia and her fellow competition-winners, Ava and Frankie, find themselves catapulted into a world of art, espionage and danger, with an important mission to complete. Luckily, the trio been chosen for their skills, and with Samia’s knowledge of art and history, Ava’s code-cracking nouse and Frankie’s gifts for science and languages, they might stand a chance of out-smarting the scary strangers who are stalking their every move.

Euro Spies is a fast-paced adventure with the perfect amount of danger to keep young readers turning the pages – but not keep them up at night. The tension builds beautifully, and it is countered by some lovely ‘lightbulb’ moments when the gang crack the clues.

We loved feeling part of the young spies’ whistle-stop tour of Europe, sharing their delight at discovering its café culture (where better to sit and think) and art masterpieces, and working out the puzzles and ciphers alongside them. The heart of this story, though, was the growing friendship between the three children – a reminder that wherever you choose go exploring, the experience is richer if you travel with friends.

No spoilers, but there was a hint that the gang might be preparing for more espionage adventures. We certainly hope to meet them again – the question is, where will their next mission take them?

Euro Spies, by Lindsay Littleson (Cranachan)

  • This review was part of the blog tour for Euro Spies.
  • For more reviews and content, follow @cranachanbooks on twitter.

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