A companion to the Time Captives
By Morgan Huneke
Available on Amazon
Of course, I read it.
Espionage is a sweet little story, with a healthy dose of tension, centered around a very young heroine. Vannie has grown up surrounded by politics, as her father is one of her country's vassal lords (Their ruling system is something of an Oligarchy), and one of the few said lords who bothers to bring his children with him to court. When her father's arch-rival, Sir Roland, invites them for a friendly meeting at his castle, she smells a rat, but since she's only nine, and her father agrees to it, there's really nothing she can do to protest.
Once she reaches Sir Roland's estate, she meets Kyle, Sir Roland's son, who seems to be nothing like his father. Together they uncover a devious plot that involves a Stryte - which readers of the main Time Captives series would recognize as the invasive tyrannical ruling class Calhortz.
It was a good story, it really was, but I wasn't captivated by it like I was the main series. It was a nice addition to the world, but I didn't feel wowed by any high-concept ideas or great world-building. You meet a stryte and a few Merfolk, and that's it for the other races in the world, and there were only two or three mentions of the Time Captives. So while it was a good story, making it part of the Time Captives world almost felt forced.
It also had a very different feel from the rest of Morgan's work that I've read - instead of grand, sweeping tales with lots of characters and interspersed flashbacks, it's a very focused story, entirely from Vannie's point of view, since it's first person.
(It didn't help that I read this while reading another book which I found to be far more high-concept and kept me closer to the edge of my seat.)
This doesn't mean it wasn't a great book, it just wasn't quite the story I'd wanted.
Espionage is a story of faith, family, trust, forgiveness and resourcefulness. Vannie and Kyle are both great characters, as are their surrounding family and friends. The plot is tight and cohesive, and since there are fewer characters, they all seem far better developed. Things do get tense enough to keep you on the edge of your seat for a bit. It is a good addition to the world, even if it isn't as spectacular as the main series, and I'm pretty sure you could read and love it even if you had no plans at all to read the main books.
TEEN - upper elementary to middle school
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language
Sexuality: NONE - not even hinted at
Other: There is some fighting and an attempt at murder. Nothing gory, though.