Thursday, 25 August 2011

Darcie Lock Girl on the Run: Ringmaster

Darcie Lock Girl on the Run: Ringmaster by Julia Golding (Egmont)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 978-140524734-4

Darcie Lock is a straight talking tomboy and the latest recruit of the British Intelligence Service. Having lived her life in relative wealthy seclusion Darcy spends her time avoiding the fashion conscious cools girls at school, playing soccer with the boys and training in fencing.

From the outset we find a spoilt rich girl, she has a close relationship with her father although spends some time bemoaning her mothers pedicure priorities. They live in a ‘compound’ home in Kenya with a Kenyan maid to get her out of bed, iron her clothes and make the day run as it should.

From the very first chapter I was hooked. Golding does a great job of setting the scene and introducing the relationships. We find a good deal of humour and a likeable character and the intrigue begins in chapter one.

The adventure is set in Kenya, which I enjoyed immensely. The descriptions of the society, the clubs, and the schools were something very new for my daughter and I believe would be of interest to most readers. In particular I enjoyed the use of a second language. The words were dispersed throughout the book and were always a reminder of the unique location. There is also a Glossary of Terms at the back.

Darcie Lock promises to be a great series with Empty Quarter to be released in early 2012. The author Julia Golding also wrote the Cat Royal series. Reading about the author scans like an adventure tale in its own right, having served time in Cambridge, then the diplomatic services, and then as a lobbyist with Oxfam.

The writing is clear and precise. It is action packed with a good balance of emotion, suspense, surprises and warm characters. Topics such as being used by others, being deceived, attraction and girl/boy angst are touched upon. Fantastically Darcie is a positive role model and a great read.

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