Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Didn't live up to my expectations
on 5 October 2013
Maybe I'm a bit too old- I started reading at 11 and now I'm 15- but I really didn't connect to this book.
I adored all the others, they were perfect, but for me, this just fell a bit flat, I suppose. I almost found reading it a chore; something I had to do because I'd read all the others. I was so excited for this book, so that's why it's such a disappointment to me. It was okay, a fairly enjoyable read, but it didn't pack a punch like the other books in the series did. I wasn't thrilled, I wasn't even surprised at most of the 'plot twists' as I had managed to guess most of them before hand- it felt slightly predictable.
The entire book felt like it was building up to something, to action, to extreme excitement that I was sure would make the whole read completely worthwhile, that I wouldn't be complaining.. then it ended. It seemed like nothing worthy happened. None of the action that was promised early on in the book seemed to happen. Yes, there were some action/fight scenes, but nothing major, and almost all of them ended very soon after they had begun, with no progress to the plot made. The entire world Ally had created for us in earlier felt boring and uninteresting- a real annoyance after the exciting, action packed, heart racing unstoppable action of the earlier books.
The action was dull, Cammie annoyed me, Zach annoyed me, Liz annoyed me, and Macey (my favourite character from the earlier books along with Bex) was just plain boring. There seemed to be no fight left in the characters; they seemed to have left their spark at the end of the last book. Only Bex was remotely in character, funny and likeable. Joe, Abby, Townsend and Rachel hardly featured in the book, and when they did, they seemed to have no real significance anyway, apart from Townsend at the end. To be honest, many of the characters- Zach, Macey, Joe, Abby, Rachel, Townsend... had no importance to the plot; they may as well have not been in the book, which would have been better if I'm honest as I felt upset at what had happened to the cocky, fiery, funny, spunky spies we all know and love- in fact, that goes for every character.
The fact that they actually attended school was completely overlooked by the author- the main focus of the earlier books being their adventures in spy school- and in this book Cam, Bex, Liz, Macey and Zach probably overall spent more time of of school 'rescuing', 'fighting' and overall not really doing much at all and they STILL managed to graduate school at the end of the book! Also- where did Grant and Jonas come from? It felt to me like they just appeared out of the blue, then disappeared straight after; the only purpose of their involvement in the books to conveniently rescue to main characters when all hope seemed lost.
Another point is that while the series took a much darker turn to the first 3 or 4 books, Cammie still continued making her humorous lists that really didn't match the overall perspective of the book. It just didn't fit.
I get what Ally was trying to do- a happy ending, everything working out for the characters, but the entire book was unsatisfying and unrealistic to the series. The story felt pointless, so much less than what they exciting cliffhanger of the previous book had to offer. While reading, I found myself longing for the exciting, funny, clever and witty books the previous instalments of the series had been.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, at the end, there was no point to the book apart from tying up the loose ends from the previous books in the way Ally thought her readers might want without any actual consideration to the realism of the rest of the book. Yes, it was worth a read, but it left me completely disappointed at the sad attempt of what could have possibly been a fantastic end to an overall fantastic series- I feel like the series, the characters, the plot and myself as a reader, were sadly let down.