Monday, May 7, 2018

Review: Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
Orphan Monster Spy
By Matt Killeen
Format: Print ARC
Source: YALLFest

To Sum It Up: Sarah is a newly orphaned, Jewish fifteen-year-old in Nazi Germany. After encountering a mysterious man who turns out to be a spy working against the Nazis, Sarah undertakes a crucial mission. She must collect information on a lethal weapon created by a Nazi scientist. To complete her mission, Sarah must go undercover at a Nazi boarding school where she will become friendly with the scientist’s daughter. Sarah endeavors to save the Germany that has been turned against her as well as becoming the hero she desperately needs.

Review: Orphan Monster Spy reminded me of some sort of really cool spy movie. The pacing was excellent, making the story feel action movie-esque. The story was thoroughly researched, making the setting feel authentic without feeling too vague. Matt Killeen did an excellent job of balancing the bigger picture of WWII without sacrificing the relatability of his main character.

I absolutely adored Sarah as a character because she was so enjoyably complex. Sarah’s complexity and growth as a character propelled this book into greatness. Sarah was an incredible heroine with a skill set that reminded me of Black Widow. Put into incredibly stressful situations, Sarah’s decisions were always intelligently made. There is absolutely nothing more frustrating than reading a book where you find yourself mentally screaming at the main character for their pathetic decisions. I was constantly in awe of Sarah’s maturity and sense of purpose. Additionally, I was astounded by Sarah’s perceptiveness and her profound interpretations of her experiences. Despite Sarah’s complexity, she remains relatable with thoughts and emotions the reader can empathize with.

The reader is also occasionally reminded that Sarah is indeed still a child. I was really hoping that Sarah would find some sort of paternal comfort in the Captain. I would have really enjoyed seeing him grow into that role. However, I understand that Sarah’s isolation from others forced her to become stronger and better equipped to deal with the challenges she faced. Sarah was able to become her own hero.

All in all: I know a majority of this review is praise for the main character, but I have no regrets. I love it when a character actively becomes the hero they need for themselves. Orphan Monster Spy was a riveting read that retained a profundity suitable for the setting. You should really give this one a try!


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