Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Review: Taylor's Plight by Katrina Cope

Taylor's Plight is the third book in The Sanctum series of pre-teen adventure novels by Katrina Cope. Once again Jayden, Eva, Robert and Aaron are attempting to stop terrorism by using 'surrogates' - robots they can control remotely that appear to be human.

This installment starts with a bang (quite literally) and just keeps going. The previous two books took a little while to lay the groundwork for both characters and plot but there is no need to do that here, especially as the story continues essentially from the end of the second book, Scarlet's Escape.

Once again someone is moving against the Sanctum, trying to stop their fight against terrorism, attacking their infrastructure in an attempt to bring down Scarlet, the computer intelligence that controls much of the Santum's functions.

Liam and the other pupils at Ernest College are also involved, and seemingly on a course to uncover the Sanctum's meddling at their school. But are they working towards the same cause, or against? As the two groups of students converge on the truth, the stakes have never been higher and the danger never more real.

This really is a fantastic read. From start to finish it grips the reader, drawing them along. The threads of Ernest and the Sanctum play off of each other, each giving a slightly different view of what is really going on. Most of the second half of the book is a breathless rush towards the final climax as the children on both sides uncover the truth. The phrase 'I couldn't put it down' is overused but is totally justified in this case.

Not everything in their world is safe and cosy and this is one of the great things about Cope's books. She is not afraid to put her characters through the mill, but they are always shown to be able to overcome adversity through quick wits and to come out stronger the other side. As usual the strong role models are well in evidence.

This is a book I would unhesitatingly recommend to any reader from about 9 upwards, although reading the first two books will be necessary to introduce the characters involved and the world of the Sanctum.

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