Author: Sophie Schiller
Page Count: 327
My Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
If you can imagine "Summer of My German Soldier" set on a Caribbean island replete with German spy characters, Old World Danish characters, colorful West Indian characters, blazing Luger pistols, a mad Voodoo Queen, and a brave and resourceful heroine, then you have a good picture of Spy Island.
When Abby Maduro is orphaned, she is sent off to live with her estranged aunt on St. Thomas Island. After witnessing a brutal murder at the hand of a German saboteur, she vows to devote her time to spy hunting. Soon after arriving she befriends Erich Seibold, a German deserter who teaches Abby that the world of spying is much more dangerous and complex than she could possibly imagine.
Transfer Day is an exciting adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Abby is spunky, yet innocent heroine with a big heart and a lot of guts. A cast of distinctive, wonderfully drawn minor characters adds their own, distinctive flavor to this tale as well. I love being immersed in the world of the Caribbean during World War I, I felt like I was looking into a snapshot of the past. This book is full of adventure, exciting twists, just when I thought I had the plot figured out, it would change again. I could not tell what would happen next, and kept turning the pages eager to find out.
The story is told in first person present tense from Abby’s point of view. This aided my suspense since I found out things as she did, but there were some areas where I found the narrative perspective distracting. The other main character is Erich Seibold, and he has many secrets at the beginning of the book. When he tells Abby the story of who he is and where he comes from, there are pages just of his dialogue as he tells his story. There is no change of point of view, but Erich’s story-telling sounds more like a chapter of switched perspective than a man telling a story. There were also instances where there was some tense disagreement that was briefly distracting, but didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.
Sophie Schiller’s book was highly entertaining, and I definitely recommend you check it out, especially if you love historical fiction and adventure. I would say that this book would fall somewhere between late Middle Grade and early Young Adult. There is some violence – fist-fights and gun shots- that would probably be the “worst” of it. There is a romance, but it is very tame and sweet. The descriptions, the characters, and the plot of this story all weave together into a tight package of fun that you do not want to miss.
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