The Victoria Institute Book 1 by H.T. King
Published on September 26, 2018
This young adult book was a ton of fun to read. I hated every time I had to put it down. In Undercover Thief, Pam is a pretty experienced thief when her parents who walked out on her six years ago decide to come back and force her to go to a spy school.
Pamela Torres has been breaking the law since she was nine years old. Left alone in London, needing to steal to survive, Pamela has managed to make a life for herself.Then, one day, Pamela’s parents turn up again and turn her whole world upside down. They enroll her in a school, but this school is unlike any school that Pamela has ever heard of before. The Victoria Institute isn’t just any school. It’s a school for spies!Written in H.T.King’s signature style, her debut novel has been met with a fantastic reception by fans around the world. This is a book celebrating family, loyalty and strong women. It’s filled with action, humour and the thrills of both the espionage and criminal worlds colliding head on. It’s a must have for any girl’s bookshelf.
To say I was completely engaged in this story is an understatement. The author apparently really knows how to draw out my emotions as I read through the story, none more so than every time there was anything related to Pam’s parents. Pamela’s parents left one day and didn’t come back. So when they decide to come back – six years later- I was furious with them. I mean, how dare they act as if they only went out for milk at the corner store? And who doesn’t know that their own parent died? Or what their 9-yr old child is doing in order to survive? In my opinion, they don’t get a single say about anything in her life ever again. Ever. They lost that right a long, long time ago. So, when she gets to the school they force upon her I loved every time she dished it out to them and made their life miserable.
While I really enjoyed the book, I do think that there are two parts that some may have issue with. Pam is really skilled at just about everything. From being a master thief who can steal from the Louvre to knowing how to beat security systems, she can do it all at 14/15 yrs old or younger, depending on when she learned how to do these special skills. The other aspect some may have difficult with is related to suspending reality. While I personally had a lot of fun reading the book, I know some may not want to have conversations in their head about how realistic some of the situations are – whether it be regarding her parents and how they couldn’t have known what was going on with their child for 6 years or the type of classes being taught at the school.
This story came at the perfect time for me. It was light-hearted fun, with lots of good drama to keep it all interesting, not to mention all the supporting characters that made the school come to life. Loved it.
Recommended for those who love Ally Carter books and who want to read stories about feisty teen heroines.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Thanks to Netgalley and Glass Slipper Publications for the reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.