Burglars, kidnapping, escaped wild animals – the content in this book could easily leave one to believe that this is not a children’s book. However, sometimes the most unpredictable content makes for the best read.
Thirteen year old Scarlet is a cat burglar – along with her father they break into properties restoring stolen antiquities and treasures to the rightful owners. And they’re rather good at it. But then one day they steal an ancient Aztec bracelet with strange and magical powers, and Scarlet’s world begins to change – not least herself and her physical being. With elements of fantasy mixed with real world life and death decisions, this is a gripping tale, far from anything else aimed at this readership.
It’s a page-turning action adventure. The language is simple, keeping up with the pace of the plot with little time for lengthy description or in-depth exposition, or indeed too much character development. Scarlet is brave, plucky, canny and worldly – although her lack of expertise in modern technology is rather surprising. To fill the gap, Tamsin Cooke introduces the boy next door – not just a heartthrob, but a savvy geek who is able to hack computers and provide backup techy assistance.
However, there’s no time for romance because of the pacey action unfolding page by page – which means that the book is perfectly poised to attract all readers, even as young as 9+ years, because although there are some illegal goings-on, such as driving a car underage (not to mention the breaking and entering), there is always someone on hand to point out the moral ambiguities and illegalities of the situations.
It’s also guaranteed to attract those who otherwise might struggle to make it through a 200 page book, because of the speed of the drama – paced like an adult thriller book.
The book is gripping, a race-against-the-clock action packed thriller. Genre writing for kids, and that is truly exciting. You can buy it here.