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Home > Categories > Books > Young Adult > Katipo Joe: Book 2: Spycraft review

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Score: 9.5/10  [1 review]
5 out of 5
ProdID: 8814 - Katipo Joe: Book 2: Spycraft
Written by: Brian Falkner

Katipo Joe: Book 2: Spycraft
Sample/s Supplied by:
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Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been provided to KIWIreviews by Scholastic (NZ) or their agents for the sole purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was requested, offered nor accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
March 2021

Katipo Joe: Book 2: Spycraft product reviews

Proud to promote NZ productsSpycraft, the second book in the Katipo Joe series, continues the astonishing journey of teenager Joseph St George. Recruited by M15, Joe is now on a mission to infiltrate an elite group of Hitler Youth. In a world where one wrong word could bring catastrophe, he must compete with the other young people for a prize beyond his wildest dreams. The consequences of failure are torture and death.

From the war-torn skies over Germany to the heights of the Eagle's Nest - Hitler's hideaway - this is Joe's story. Set amidst actual events, his story is a tale of incredible heroism, unlikely romance, and unbearable tragedy.

Check out Scholastic (NZ) onlineClick here to see all the listings for Scholastic (NZ) Visit their website They do not have a Twitter account Check them out on Facebook They do not have a YouTube Channel They do not have a Pinterest board They do not have an Instagram channel They do not have a TikTok channel

adventure   eagles nest   germany   hitler   hitler youth   joe st george   katipo joe   m15   m16   nazi   nzmade   scholastic   spy   spycraft   survival   war
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Review by: savta (Jo)
Dated: 14th of March, 2021

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This Review: 9.5/10
Score 10 out of 10
Score 9 out of 10
Lose Track of Time:
Score 9 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

Since I was already familiar with the character of Joseph (Katipo) St George, having already read "Katipo Joe: Blitzkrieg", the first book in the series, I was quickly immersed once again in Joe's unfolding story. The pace is just as frantic as that of its predecessor, demanding the reader's full attention: Joe's story is compelling in its meld of history and fiction.

Joe deals with the usual challenges of puberty, working through the transition from boy to man, but most young men do not have to simultaneously cope with warfare and death. The real people (and animals) who interact with Joe - Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler, and Eva Braun, right down to Hitler's dog Blondie, make the story come alive and in many ways plausible. I had to remind myself periodically that Joe and his comrades from Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls had their origins in the author's inspiration - even though the groups they were attached to were real, designed to seduce young people into the Nazi philosophies.

The story begins with a couple of chapters that set the scene for what is to follow, but after that the reader is on a fast-paced track to follow Joe's journey. As he encounters one danger after another, he grows in confidence and continues to hone his survival skills. Miss 14, who also read the book, said she found it drew her in to a much greater extent than the first in the series, and kept stopping to talk to me about what she had just read. We spent some time discussing it, and I was interested in her comment that she thought this book would appeal to a slightly older audience - reflecting possibly on Joe's own personal development and growing maturity. She liked the way the story introduced the theme of teenage romance; without being too explicit, it hints at the growing attraction between young people forced to interact together in a contrived situation.

Both of us found the inclusion of authentic monochrome photographs helped to illustrate the feel for the period. Today, when wars are fought via technology and long-distance attack, it is difficult for many to imagine the hands-on warfare of the 1940s. Very few people remember this time, and even if they are old enough to remember some of the history, they may have been only children themselves and in many cases be unaware of the huge differences that time has brought about.

As with the first book in the series, many of the chapters are prefaced by a single page statement which provides additional comment on the action. These pages contain quotes, either from Katipo's own memories, or from real people like Hitler or Shakespeare. The words are presented in a font which differs from that used in the rest of the book, and they are displayed against a watermark which resembles a sheet of creased paper.

The German terms used in the book are either explained in context or included in the glossary - something which I, and Miss 14, found extremely useful. I am a German speaker but she is not, and this made the book more accessible to her than would otherwise have been the case. Some of the terms are indeed familiar to most English speakers, but certainly not all. She already knew the meanings of Blitz and Luftwaffe, but the idea of Kristallnacht was beyond her. Even with a dictionary, she could get as far as "Kristall" and find it meant "glass" or "crystal", but the full meaning of Kristallnacht would not have made sense without the full explanation supplied.

Both of us could see that the last few pages of the book almost certainly foreshadow a third in the series. We will be looking forward to that!

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