n this exciting and action-packed adventure by an award-winning author, a young girl discovers her secret ancient bloodline. The fate of her family, and the world, may rest in her hands... Cassie Arroyo, an American studying in Rome, has her world ripped apart when someone tries to kill her father, an art history professor at an Italian university. Is she their next target? Cassie sets out to uncover what is happening, only to learn that she is a member of an ancient bloodline that enables her to use the Spear of Destiny--a legendary object that can alter the future. Now running from a secret organization intent on killing those from her bloodline, Cassie must--with the help of some friends--decipher the clues that will lead her to the Spear. Christina Diaz Gonzalez has created a fast-paced thrill-ride of a book, rich with riddles and myth, that young readers will not want to put down.
Christina Diaz Gonzalez’s MOVING TARGET is an exciting beginning to a series about being chosen, the weight of responsibility, and the importance of family and friendship. Cassie’s journey takes a rough start as she has little information to go on, you can keenly feel her frustration, worry, and growing determination. Though some readers may be tiring of the Chosen One plotlines, this story’s heart is far more about human relationships and power structure than what makes Cassie’s bloodline special. However, the fantastical elements are still a delight and create a mystery full of twists and a wealth of secrets to be uncovered.
While there is much to love in this middle grade novel, my person favorite part is the female friendship at the center between Cassie and Simone. From the beginning, Simone is on Cassie’s side, ready to fight, protect, and do whatever is necessary. While Cassie is the protagonist, Simone has her own complex characterization beyond that of a typical sidekick. These two girls are different and sometimes butt heads, but they truly care about each other, even though good intentions for another person doesn’t always work out well. Together, they offer a great discussion about what it means to be a good friend and how trust must work.
Prepare to be enthralled as Cassie discovers her own destiny, evades a number of killers, and gives everything she has to save her father.
What worked: For fans of diverse novels, this one fits the bill. MOVING TARGETS has a Latina protagonist who attends a Roman school. Cassie is a very likable character as she's not tough but rather a typical teen who finds herself in a dangerous situation and reaches out to others. At first she does this and has her best friend Simone help out. But don't let that deceive you. Cassie isn't the helpless girl who needs others to get her out of a bind. No, she uses her wits to help solve a mystery that involves her.
The city of Rome is a great setting for this action-packed suspenseful ride. This story reminded me of a teen Da Vinci code with it's centuries old mysteries and a code that reveals secrets that come with a terrible cost.
An ancient organization similar to the Knights of Templar is shown, along with the dangerous Hastati, who will stop at nothing to get the Spear of Destiny. The history behind the Spear is told from others Cassie encounters on her way. One of them is fifteen-year-old Asher, who comes across at first as arrogant but reveals later on his own part in the mystery.
The action, mystery, suspense is sure to keep readers turning the pages to find out what new secret Cassie will come across. Entertaining and very engaging with a cliffhanging ending that will have readers waiting with baited breath for the next installment.
Adrenalin-packed ride through the streets of Rome as heroine searches for truth behind ancient organization and her part in it's destiny. 'Each choice we make determines our destiny.' Which choices Cassie makes in the next book are sure to be just as riveting as the ones here!
2. Diverse cast of characters
3. A Spear of Destiny that can actually control destiny
4. Teen meets Da Vinci code