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Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez ARC {5 Stars}

Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez ARC {5 Stars}

Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Moving Target #2)
Published by Scholastic Press on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 214 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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The thrilling sequel to Moving Target! When a young girl can determine the destiny of the world, the wrong choice could lead to disaster . . .

Cassie Arroyo has found the long-lost Spear of Destiny -- only to have it stolen right out from under her!

In Return Fire, Cassie and Asher must regain the spear. This time, however, it's not enough just to find it: Cassie realizes that when she used the spear, she sent the world down a path that could eventually lead to serious trouble. Can she find a way to stop the terrible chain of events that she set into motion?

As she tries to reshape her own destiny, Cassie takes off on a breathless adventure across Italy, leading her to a forest outside Rome, a Caravaggio painting full of clues, and a villa by the sea. There, in the ultimate showdown, Cassie has to decide who she can truly trust. And when the chance to use the spear presents itself again, she has to figure out if she can even trust herself.

Kids will be clamoring for this sequel after finishing Moving Target, and this has even more thrills, riddles, and page-turning excitement!

5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of RETURN FIRE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:

  • Like the first story (Moving Target) this adventure moves along at a brisk pace, keeping the reader turning pages long after he or she should have gone to bed or moved onto other work.  There are some twists and turns, and sometimes, the reader (and our protagonists) is not sure who is a good guy and who spells real trouble.
  • The hero continues to impress.  Cassie is determined, caring, resourceful, smart, and resilient.   She is driven by motivations that young people will recognize and share …. and that adults would applaud.  In the hands of a less skilled writer, this character could come across as too good, but Gonzalez makes her realistic, with vulnerabilities and weaknesses to balance her strengths.
  • Friendships are tested, and some forgiveness needs to be earned.  This is not only a good plot twist, but a realistic example of how to mend fences with friends.
  • The European setting is worthy of Dan Brown and refreshing to US readers.  Casual mention of great Italian artists and their works abound and add to the verisimilitude of the tale.  It is equally pleasant to have a protagonist who is a Cuban-American living in Europe.  With a smattering of Cuban Spanish, Italian, and French flitting across the page, young readers are treated to a much larger world than is the usual fare in middle-grade adventures.

Weaknesses:

  • The one downside to this book is that I think the reader would have to have read the first book of the series for this tale to make any sense.  They almost feel more like the first and second half of a book rather than two separate but related stories.

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Barbara

 Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

© 2017, Barbara. All rights reserved.

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