Treason by Jo Macauley.

Fourteen-year-old Beth Johnson is a talented and beautiful young actress. She is also a spy. The year is 1664, and Charles II is on the throne, but all is not well in the bustling city of London, and there are those who would gladly kill the king and destroy the Monarchy. One morning, a mysterious ghost ship drifts up the Thames. Sent to investigate by the King’s Master of Secrets, Alan Strange, Beth quickly finds herself embroiled in a dangerous adventure. Will Beth be able to unravel the plot to kill the King before it’s too late? (Synopsis from Goodreads).

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

General Overview

I enjoyed this book, but there were a few parts that were not relevant to the time period. Some language was used by the youngsters that was too modern. It was very fast paced, full of action, a little confusing at times, there was always something going on. The characters were relatable, but Ralph, I felt could have had a little more development, I never really got a feel for his character. Even Alan Strange was a better character, he was cloaked in mystery but it worked, did not work so well for Ralph. The time line is a little off, unless the king is 80, I do not see how he had an assassination attempt on him 60 years before.

3.5 stars out of 5

Step by Step Overview

0% – Ooh a ghost ship, I love stories about them. Looks like it going to be an interesting story aimed at 9-12 year olds. Hoping there’s enough intrigue and mystery for me.

Page 30 – Nice prologue, interesting start. What is happening on the ghost ship? Nice easy way to get the traitor but it was by chance she saw the person doing it. The sword fighting was a good action part, glad to see the girl winning.

Page 50 – I’ve never really thought about when people started celebrating Bonfire night, but it’s a nice thought that 60 years later they were celebrating his failure (not sure if it’s true or not). There’s a few bits of modern language that has slipped in that makes it feel less authentic.

Page 70 – The mystery gets deeper. Even though this is set in 1644 some of the scenes feel like they are set in modern times, which is off putting.

Page 90 – The play scene was good but a little all over the place.

Page 110 – I am guessing the boy with the earring is the third young wannabe detective from the synopsis.

Page 130 – I am intrigued to find out more about the ship and why are they trying to keep it a secret?

Page 150 –Aww no, I hope John survives and Will managed to get out. So the ship was smuggling gun powder. Are they planning on another treason attempt?

Page 170 – Beth is quite strong to be able to save John. I am not sure why the spymaster is leaving a plot of this magnitude to children.

Page 190 – The timing would need to be perfect with them putting the gunpowder in the hog. Interesting idea though.

End – Nice ending, leaves room for the next one in the series. I think it was a fairly good book, since it is aimed at younger readers, the parts I did not like are forgivable. I would read the next one in the series. Overall a good book.

Who would I recommend this too?

Younger readers, it’s a nice way of instilling a passion for history.