Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y S Lee



Publisher: Candlewick
Pages: 352
Source: Personal Copy

The first novel in the Agency series sets up a fascinating story about a young girl given a second chance at life. Orphan Mary Quinn is sentenced to death when her life takes a turn for the worst, and she is forced to steal as a means of survival. The loss of both her parents leaves her with no place to go, and no one to turn to, when she is arrested she must accept her punishment of death by hanging. At the last minute Mary is rescued from the noose and whisked away to an “all girl’s” boarding school where she remained until an unusual offer was given to her. A secret agency hiding within the school walls, under the pretense of school advisors- seek Mary to become one of their newest spies.  At the age of seventeen she is sent to live in a smuggler’s household as his daughter’s paid companion, she must gain information and report back to the agency.  Mary doesn’t sit idly, and she takes it upon herself to investigate further putting herself in danger.  Soon Mary is in deeper than she should be, and forced to align herself with an unlikely ally.

I’m very proud to state that Y.S Lee is a Canadian author! I’ve wanted to read these books for awhile, and I was so excited to find out that the author is Canadian. A Spy in the House was a great read, full of mystery, great characters and cleverly plotted clues. While Mary has been schooled as a Victorian lady she doesn’t always fit the mold. She is a quick witted, feisty and independent character vowing to never marry.  Character and plot development were very well done. Lee did a great job keeping her characters in the Victorian period and not modernizing them. I love the dialogue between James and Mary.  I thought the plot was very original, Victorian women working as undercover spies.  I don’t read much mystery, and especially not Young Adult mystery but this one was great. I will be picking up the next books in the series as well. The Agency is fast paced, detailed, and enthralling. I think this one is great for both adults and young adults. Filled a little romance, and a great mystery.

13 comments:

  1. I love a good mystery, I will definitely by reading this one. Thanks for the review!

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  2. I've always wanted to read these books! They look so good.

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  3. This one sounds like a great read! I am adding it to my list of books I want to read. Thanks for highlighting it.

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  4. I love it when a book exceeds my expectations and should try to check this one out. It does indeed sound like it has an excellent premise and also that it was executed really well. I am going to have to add this one to my list!

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  5. You always have such interesting books on your reviews!! Another one to add to my TBR list! Thanks! Great post!

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  6. Sounds great. I didn't know she is Canadian. Very cool.

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  7. I'm glad you liked this one! I REALLY enjoyed it when I read it a few years ago. I haven't read the other books in the series though, but a few of my students have and they love it! Great review!

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  8. great review! I LOOOOOOOOVE these books!!! the best mysteries ever in YA!! =9 and one of the best historicals as well. The y are so freaking well written! im glad you read it!! YEY for MAPLE READS! =D

    Dazzling Reads

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  9. My mother wanted to be a spy when she was a kid, so she loves to read about female spies. I bet she'd love this.

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  10. This looks great and your review just enforces that. Such an interesting concept for a book, and I love a good mystery. Historical mystery will be a bot new for me, but I'm game as I love mysteries and historicals. Nice review!

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  11. I have book 2 and that annoys me :/ Need book 1

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  12. YAAAY!! An awesome Canadian author? That's an automatic add to my TBR pile!

    But this book just sounds SO awesome, even without that! I love books set in Victorian times, I love strong and witty female leads, and I love spy books! This is a triple win -- no, quadruple because of the Canadian thing! ;)

    Awesome review, Mrs. Q! I'm really glad you liked this one! :)

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  13. Great review. I also enjoyed this one and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

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