Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Second Spy-Jacqueline West

The Second Spy

Jacqueline West

Dial, Jul 5 2012, $16.99

ISBN: 9780803736894

Ever since tweener Olive Dunwoody and her mathematician parents moved into fixer upper Victorian mansion left vacant when elderly Ms. Annabelle McMartin died, she found the house odd especially the paintings that she entered led her to Elsewhere. After dealing with the evil Annabelle (see The Shadows), Olive knows she must stay grounded as she starts school soon.

However, when she falls through a hole in the backyard, she lands in an Elsewhere mess. Instead of staying dead, Annabelle McMartin remains a threat and even more malevolent are other evil essences. None of that frightens Olive as much as how her allies behave. The three cats (Harvey, Horatio and Leopold) are misbehaving rather than protecting Olive and the house; her only friend Rutherford Dewey wants to run away from her; and her Elsewhere buddy Morton seems upset with her.

The third Books of Elsewhere (see Spellbound and The Shadows) fantasy is an engaging thriller as upper elementary school readers get deep inside the head of the beleaguered heroine. Olive feels like Gary Cooper in High Noon as her allies apparently deserted her while she confronts some nasty adversaries. Action-packed yet profound due to Olive’s disappointment that those she thought had her back apparently forsaken her, fans will relish the superb Second Spy.

Harriet Klausner

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