Title: Along Came a Spyder
Author: Apeksha Rao
Genre: Young Adult
‘Along Came a Spyder’ has plenty of teenage spies and enough mysteries to solve vicariously as you turn the pages of this satisfying book that’s entertaining, funny and sassy.
17 year old Samira is aiming to be a spy because her role models are her parents who are elite RAW agents. She has been trained in the craft even since she was a toddler and by the time she hits her teens she has seen a fair share of missions, conspiracies and danger.
The twist comes when her parents stop supporting her and want her to take to a traditional and safe career choice. More than anyone else, she has to convince them of her capabilities. Would joining a sisterhood of spies and proving herself be enough?
I read this book after my teenaged daughter raved about how much fun and cool it was. She was totally taken in by the protagonist Samira, her wiliness, her courage and unconventional life.
Along Came A Spyder turned out to be a thrilling and quite an entertaining read, taking the reader on an interesting journey which includes lots of spy missions, and also guns, hidden communication and tracking devices as well as witnessing the dark side of the world.
Spyders HQ is just the place for all the Spyder sisters where they practice, stay and yo! enjoy each other’s company.
What Works Well
There are many pluses about the book. The characters are fantastic. Samira is drawn very well, confident but with her own set of insecurities and fears. Her language as a teen is very relatable. Others of the spyders, Tina, Millie, Debbie, Dr. ‘Mila’ Sen, the secretary Evelyne, the list of memorable characters is long.
Samira’s chatter about her parents and her back and forth with them is really enjoyable. She is a part of a lot of adventures, both with her parents and with her gang of spies. The HQ seems like the place every teenage would dream of, independence with discipline, adventure with danger.
The book has good pacing throughout and has many missions, twists and turns so that the reader never loses interest.
The best part is Samira’s coming to terms with her fears and deep rooted trauma that eventually helps her prove her mettle as a spy.
I also liked reading about the various spy secrets like surveillance, the hi fi gadgets that are used, training techniques and more. Drugs, pimps, undercover missions, rouge nuclear states, underworld dons, vendetta within the gangs, dark web, abductions, terror attacks – there’s all this and more.
While discussing this book, my daughter mentioned that story gives a glimpse into the lives of spies who do all they can for their motherland . Not only has the book been written completely from a teenager’s point of view but even the language used is just what a teenager says ( like getting used to adding all the yos you can to your language 😜)
Along Came a Spyder is a well paced novel with an uber cool teenage spy who has a load of interesting adventures. As per my teen, it’s totally ‘engrossing’.
If the book has a sequel, I would definitely read it. In fact, I am planning to read the prequel, ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spyder’ soon.
You can buy the book here.
This Book Review is written as part of BookChatter, Blogchatter’s Book Review Program.