Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Peril En Pointe: Swan House Mystery #1 by Helen Lipscombe (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

4th July 2019, Chicken House Books, 288 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Summary from Chicken House Books
Milly’s in trouble.

Moments after messing up the most important dance of her life, her prima ballerina mother vanishes. And that’s just the beginning.

Out of the blue, Milly is invited to join a mysterious ballet school. But Swan House isn’t just a school for ballet dancers. It’s a school for spies.

Milly learns that she and her mother are in terrible danger. But has she got what it takes to face peril en pointe?

Ballet Shoes meets Murder Most Unladylike with a fun, modern twist!

Nayu's thoughts 
This sounded my ideal book: a ballet boarding school! I love ballet stories, and boarding school stories. And hey, I like spy stories too! It is all I wanted it to be and more. I was thankful to be able to read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I always wanted to know more. I became invested in Milly from the start, she has a likeable nature, is inquisitive, needs a bit more faith in herself, and unfortunately has to put up with some bullying. But then what would a school be without a mean girl? The worst part is she is in Milly's dorm, which causes no end of trouble. Although with someone out to kill her, and not knowing where her mum is, dealing with a meanie is lower down the list of Milly's problems. 

Despite the danger Milly was in, I liked the school atmosphere. It felt like somewhere I'd like to go. Thankfully there are all the usual boarding school elements which I love, homework, drama in the dorm rooms, a matron, the equivalent of James Bond's inventor Q who makes awesome gadgets. Okay so the last one is spy specific, but oh my word that was incredibly cool when Milly came across that area of the school. The gadgets themselves are clever and help Milly out. The person in charge of the gadgets is quite a character, as is the friend Milly makes who has far more to them than meets the eye. Which friend that is I am not saying! You'll have to read it to find out. I wonder if you'll guess who is trying to cause Milly harm before the big reveal at the end - I didn't, I just enjoyed the story from Milly's view. I am a bit sad that I have to wait for the next book in the series (I think it's a trilogy) but I am eager to see what happens next. I doubt Milly's life will ever be ordinary. 

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Suggested read
You would definitely like the following books if you like the sound of Peril En Pointe, try the Murder Most Unladylike series which includes First Class Murder by Robin Stevens (Young Adult, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

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