Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Ruby Redfort: Take Your Last Breath

Take Your Last Breath (Ruby Redfort) by Lauren Child (Harper Collins)
HB RRP $19.99
ISBN 9780007334087
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

 Ruby is a genius, recruited by spy agency Spectrum for her ability to crack codes and puzzles, after their ace code breaker was murdered by the villainous Count Von Viscount. She is courageous and daring with written rules which instruct her life. Hitch, an experienced agent, works as butler in the Redfort household in order to protect Ruby. Clancy Crew is Ruby’s best friend and the only person who knows about her secret life.

Strange and unusual things are happening in Twinford. Flocks of seagulls have descended in the city area. Dolphins discovered in the harbour refuse to return to sea.  It appears that someone is tampering with the radar signals and there is strange marine activity in the sea. Is it the asteroid that’s passing close to earth causing these happenings, or something more sinister?

Ruby’s family line is linked to mysteries; stories of ghosts, shipwrecks and pirate treasure. When her parents are thrown overboard by pirates whilst on a trip around Twinford Bay, Ruby needs all her skills, gadgets and Clancy’s help to find answers to more than the strange and unusual happenings in the town.

This book is a combination of mystery, adventure, and complex spy story with delicious sub stories. It will have readers hooked. It has fantastic characters, clever dialogue and super gadgets. Fast-paced and full of tension, the legends of the deep, pirates, priceless treasures, murderers and sea monsters, all vie for centre stage with the life-threatening situations.

Lots of codes and puzzles have been created specifically for this series by ‘super geek consultant’ Marcus du Sautoy, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, another genius. (Examples of these are found at the end of the book to challenge the reader even more).

Lauren Child, after years of worldwide success with Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean, has cleverly advanced to an older reader age group. This is the second Ruby Redfort book. The highly acclaimed Look into My Eyes (Ruby Redfort) was released last year.

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