Rebecca McCormick. Powered by Blogger.

The Body in the Blitz by Robin Stevens - Review

Thursday, October 26, 2023

As you know, I'm a huge fan of Robin Stevens and everything she's ever written, so I was pleased to hear that there was going to be a second book in the Ministry of Unladylike Activity series. You can read my review of the first book here, and you can read all my Robin Stevens reviews here. I was provided with an electronic copy of this book for review purposes, so thank you to Penguin Random House Children's for granting me access to it. I was not otherwise compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

So, the whole book is narrated by Nuala, unlike the first book which has parts narrated by May too. I do think this works better, because May is easily distracted and I really like Nuala. As you may remember from the first book, Nuala, May (Hazel's sister) and Eric are being trained as spies by the Ministry that Hazel, Daisy, George, Alexander and others now work for. The rationale is that no one pays attention to children so they're perfect to use as spies. Nuala and May are at school but they get a message in code telling them to leave immediately. They give their excuses and go. I will say that I was a bit sad to not be at Deepdean for longer, but I get that Robin probably wants the books to be entirely different from Hazel and Daisy's series. 

The three kids arrive in London and Eric is staying with George and Alexander and the girls are staying with friends of Hazel's. One of them, Anna, has gone missing when on a mission, and everyone is a bit worried about her. Daisy is AWOL too, and Hazel is getting increasingly worried. George has been invalided out of the war and has lost a leg; I loved how this was portrayed. 

The war, of course, is raging. I think the book is set in 1941, in the middle of the blitz. Nuala gets across the distress that she and the others are going through, with bombs coming over every night and them having to go into shelters (which May hates) and carry their gas masks about everywhere. The kids are staying in a close with quite a number of odd people living in it. One night, in the bombings, one of the houses is destroyed. The three kids go investigating and discover a body in the basement. 

The body is that of Miss Fig, a resident of the street. She was the local warden and had no shortage of enemies, it seems. Nearly everyone in the mews had a reason to want her dead. May, Nuala, and Eric start unravelling who exactly did kill her, and why. 

I quite enjoyed the mystery of the book, but the book as a whole fell a little flat for me. I can't really explain why, but I just didn't love it and didn't gel with it. May is infuriating a lot of the time (I realise that Robin has said she has ADHD which I think does go towards explaining SOME of that, but maybe it's just her maturity too and maybe we'll see her grow over the series). There's very little of Eric whatsoever. Sometimes I felt like Nuala was a little bit too stereotypical as someone who has some Irish heritage, too. In all, I can only give this three out of five because I just didn't love it. I found this to be a shame because I was really looking forward to reading this on holiday but it just wasn't too good in my opinion. However, I know I will definitely read the rest of the series just because I know what I'm like!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blogger news


Most Read