Orphan Monster Spy – Matt Killeen

Stars: ****

I saw some reviews of this before I read the book (thanks Paul!) and was thoroughly excited to get stuck in after being told it was ‘Mean Girls with nazis’.

It absolutely did not disappoint!

We begin the story with Sarah trying her best to escape the clutches of her pursuers. She hides in a small hut, desperate for water when she is discovered…but not by who she expects to find her. He is sympathetic to her plight, as a Jew in nazi occupied land, and offers her advice before leaving.

The next day, she sees the man again trying to board the same ferry as her. Sarah sees he is trapped and chooses to help him, even though it puts herself in danger. Turns out, he’s a spy and he wants her to be one too!

She’s sent – as Ursula, his niece – to a school for young nazi women, where she needs to become close to one of the top girls in school.

The novel is gripping from start to end; its a different type of adventure to anything I’ve read before. I loved the ties throughout the story, with characters being purposeful and each purposeful to the plot line in their own way.

But most of all, I loved the strength of Sarah. She comes from rock-bottom to not only overcome circumstance, but to excel. She is a complex female character who I really got to like. She recognised herself adapting to her surroundings – not always in a good way – and her inner monologue was insightful and really captured how you imagine her emotions might be.


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