Cammie the Chameleon wakes up in a snowy Alpine convent, bruised and alone. The last thing she remembers is heading out from the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women (aka spy-school for genius girls) to uncover the truth behind the sinister Circle of Cavan who have made attempts on her life – but she has no memory of what took place over the intervening summer.
As she heads back to her school, family and friends, she tries to get back into what passes for normal life (lessons in decryption, covert ops, roaming the secret passageways of the school to pick up staff secrets) but finds her friends are offish with her, and discovers unsettling evidence that she’s not quite the girl she thought she was. Despite warnings that the mind blanks out what it can’t handle knowing, she’s determined to learn the truth behind her missing memories –backtracking through the clues she’s left about what happened during the summer, taking her, her friends and a couple of adult spies to the depths of the school founder’s history, the busy streets of Rome and rugged ruins of Ireland.
Both personal and dramatic, the ‘Gallagher Girls’ books have real heart, pushing strength and sisterhood over sass, with superb wit and humour too. Cammie’s narrative flips athletically between girl-spies-are-still-girls laughs one moment, and dealing with mental trauma of what truly being a spy brings into your life and mind. More introspective and harder-edged than the previous books, this adventure still serves up constant mystery brilliantly untangled.
If you know girls who are dying to read fun without froth, thrills without the supernatural, and wanting to see that real girls really do rescue themselves, they will love you for recommending these brilliant books to them.