Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez is a middle grade adventure/thriller/mystery and a tough book to put down!! I found myself making time to get back to Gonzalez’ trio of seekers to root for them in their search for the Spear of Destiny in the hopes of saving the main character’s father. It would definitely be a good book for pre-teens who like Rick Riordan’s mythical series but are looking for something quick and fast-paced. And this would be especially good for a young woman who likes adventure stories. She will find a good role model in Cassie!!
There’s plenty of action to go around, a magical artifact to locate, and various factions who are hunting for our protagonist and her friends in order to gain control of the Spear’s magic. The main character is likable and sympathetic to the reader – spunky without being obnoxious – and seems to have the hopes and fears of any ordinary 8th grader. The book starts out with a plan to play hooky from school and rapidly moves into a hunt for a historical/mythical artifact worthy of National Treasure or the DaVinci Code. By the end of the book, some loyalties are tested and secrets unveiled, but the end is just the beginning for Cassie and her readers!!
Note: I received an advanced copy of Moving Target from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Published by Scholastic Press on August 25, 2015
Genres: MG, Thriller
Page Length: 248 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog
In this exciting and action-packed adventure by an award-winning author, a young girl discovers her secret ancient bloodline. The fate of her family, and the world, may rest in her hands...
Cassie Arroyo, an American studying in Rome, has her world ripped apart when someone tries to kill her father, an art history professor at an Italian university. Is she their next target?
Cassie sets out to uncover what is happening, only to learn that she is a member of an ancient bloodline that enables her to use the Spear of Destiny--a legendary object that can alter the future. Now running from a secret organization intent on killing those from her bloodline, Cassie must--with the help of some friends--decipher the clues that will lead her to the Spear.
Christina Diaz Gonzalez has created a fast-paced thrill-ride of a book, rich with riddles and myth, that young readers will not want to put down.
- I am a sucker for any book with a strong female main character. And, actually, you can also see three more strong women in this book as supporting characters. They all have their agendas – some of them may actually be bad guys in the end – but all of these women are in charge of their lives and their choices.
- The main character’s best friend is also a strong young woman. Different but with complementary strengths. In the end, she betrays her friend – not over a boy – but because of family ties, and I hope that the next book finds the two friends reunited, reconciled, and recommitted to working together to defeat the bad guys.
- The friendship between the main character and her male friend does not turn into a romance. This happens too often in young adult books, and I was glad to see it remain off the table in Moving Target.
- This book is very fast-paced, but it did not seem rushed. Like a good action film, you are just carried along with the characters as they follow the clues to various locales. There were a couple of wrinkles that I did not foresee – and I am intrigued to see what happens in the next book in the series. Because there has to be another book – Gonzalez cannot let it end there!!!
- For adult readers, and possibly sophisticated early teens, many aspects of the plot and character development will seem formulaic. The main character discovers that she’s special – and adopted. She meets up with a young man who is destined to become her Guardian. Long lost family members turn up as powerful heads of secret organizations. And finding the Spear ends up being relatively easy and anti-climatic.
In the end, I’d definitely recommend this book for a pre-teen who likes action and adventure books. It is set in Italy, which lends a certain exotic flare and mystery all its own, the characters are inviting without being unrealistic, and the action will keep nearly anyone turning to pages to find out what comes next.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
© 2015, Barbara. All rights reserved.