Just as life for the intrepid and resilient twins seems to be settling with both their parents and their grandparents restored to the family, the London house habitable again and being back at school with their friends, things start hotting up. Their upcoming first Pharos review is doubtless a tad stressful given there’s no wriggle room for inadequacies and the school play looms large but there’s far more to it than that. They appear to be not only surrounded by deception and mystery but for the first time ever each is keeping a big secret from the other.
As well there is annoyingly inquisitive new student Blair, new Drama teacher/Pharos agent/”world famous actor” Mr Theo Richardson and some missing journalists with which to contend. The twins’ training in stealth, disguise, parkour and coding are all about to become far more necessary than just for the upcoming review!
When it becomes apparent that there is a large-scale operation focused on thefts of valuable pieces and that somehow there’s a connection to both the new Drama teacher and the missing journalists, the Pharos kids are galvanised into action. Given the skills, expertise and native intelligence the twins and their friends are able to apply to a dangerous situation the review could seem an anti-climax.
Once again, readers will revel in the excitement of this series. Each book gets a little edgier with the twins (and their friends) demonstrating real independence, quick thinking, teamwork and bravery.
Jacqueline Harvey has proven over and over her ability to connect with her readers by providing exactly the right adventures that appeal to the middle school kiddos upwards. It’s certainly no wonder that her fan base just continues to grow and that each new book is greeted with such enthusiasm.
Highly recommended for readers from around 9 years upwards.