Pick Your Poison (Ruby Redfort Book 5) by Lauren Child
|Pick Your Poison (Ruby Redfort Book 5) by Lauren Child|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: A teenage spy has to solve a complex code as threat strikes increasingly close to home in this tense and exciting thriller.|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 528||Date: November 2015|
|Publisher: Harper Collins|
|External links: [www.milkmonitor.com Author's website]|
...the thing that you are forgetting here is that this isn't a thriller - this is real life.
...if this was a book, who would you most suspect of being the master criminal?
You, said Ruby.
Ruby Redfort is a teen who has it all: wealthy socialite parents, a luxurious home, great friends, a job at a top-secret spy agency and a seemingly unlimited supply of banana milk. She's smart, sassy, witty and surprisingly likeable for a rich kid. Pick Your Poison is book 5 in the series; the penultimate book before the big finale which promises to be explosive.
I hadn't read any of the previous books in the series, so was worried that I would have trouble finding my way with an already-established storyline and characters. I did struggle a little at first, as Ruby's world contains a lot of people: neighbours, family, school-friends, work colleagues and criminals alike, but the author does a good job keeping readers informed of events in the previous books without sacrificing the pace or plot of the current adventure.
The theme of the book is one of mistrust and betrayal, both in Ruby's private and work life. At SPECTRUM, it has become clear that one of the spies is a mole and that Ruby is being deliberately left out of certain conversations and meetings. As she consider each of her work colleagues in turn, she grows increasingly paranoid and suspicious. Surely the mole isn't a close and trusted friend? At school, things are similarly awkward. It's become clear that someone has been framing Ruby and the accusations are flying thick and fast, threatening to tear even the closest of friendships apart. Can anyone be trusted? Wake up and smell the banana milk, Bozo.
The unique selling point that sets this spy story apart from others of the same genre is the inclusion of mind-bending puzzles and codes that are worthy of the greatest minds at GCHQ. The puzzles have been created by the genius Professor Marcus de Sautoy and require mathematics and logic skills to solve. The Taste Twister code is particularly fiendish, although I struggled with the Vignere Cipher too. It's great exercise for the brain and offers an interactive element to the story.
Pick Your Poison is an intelligently-written novel with an exciting plot with plenty of twists to keep readers guessing. I can't wait for the final book in the series; there are bound to be more shocks in store. Smart kids and adults alike will love this book, which manages to make geekiness super-cool. Brilliant stuff.
To get the most out of the story, it is best to read the previous books in the series first. Why not try Ruby Redfort: Catch Your Death which contains more intriguing plot twists, puzzles and codes to solve.
You can read more book reviews or buy Pick Your Poison (Ruby Redfort Book 5) by Lauren Child at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Pick Your Poison (Ruby Redfort Book 5) by Lauren Child at Amazon.com.
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