Velvet Undercover

Featured
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
1726 1
Velvet Undercover
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 20, 2015
ISBN
978-0062321275
Buy This Book
      

Samantha Donaldson's family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, mathematics, and complex puzzles, hoping to make him proud. When Sam is asked to join the famed women's spy group La Dame Blanche, she's torn—while this could be an unbelievable adventure, how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes she can't refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity. Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known only as Velvet. Deep undercover in the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she must fight a forbidden attraction to the enemy—a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Sam find Velvet before it's too late . . . for them both? A thrilling story of one girl's journey into a deadly world of spy craft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

WWII Espionage
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Samantha Donaldson's family lives in England at the time of WWI, and she and her mother are worried that her father hasn't been heard from and is feared missing. When she nearly wins a Girl Guide competition, where she has excelled in all manner of things, including knowledge of foreign languages, she is approached by a spy organization, La Dame Blanche to be one of their operatives. She is a little conflicted, knowing that if she joins the organization and goes to spy in Germany, she might well die. Captain Parker persuades her, however, by mentioning that he might be able to help locate her father if she is willing to help him. After accepting, Samantha is trained by her "handler", a talented spy named Letty Tickford, who teaches her the finer points of codes, being followed, and disguising oneself. She does well, and is soon sent to Luxembourg to take on the identity of a young woman who has died in order to infiltrate the royal household and extricate a fellow spy. Now Sophia von Schonburg, she must memorize her backstory, locate the operative known only as "Velvet", and serve as governess to the children of the family as well! Samantha soon finds out that her assignment is quite dangerous when her fellow teacher is killed, and she must decide if she can trust one of the German soldiers, Maxwell, in order to survive and to possibly find her father.

The only thing that didn't thrill me about this book was the cover. I would have rather seen a silhouette of a girl in WWI era clothing set against the background of a Luxembourg street of that era. This cover looks too modern.
Good Points
World War I has been under represented in young adult fiction in the past, but seems to be a rising trend, perhaps because of interest in television programs like Downtown Abbey or The Crimson Field. Spy stories are always a good bet, and this had plenty of historical details as well as a pulse pounding undercover assignment.

My favorite part of this was the fact that Samantha learns that the world is not all black and white. The war is not necessarily divided into "us" and "them". This makes it hard to know whom she can trust, but she is young enough that she can still see Germans as good people, no matter what her government tells her. It helps that she spent some time in Germany as a child and has good memories of being there. Her struggles in assessing her feelings and weighing them against her loyalties to La Dame Blanche as well as her country are realistic and poignant.

Readers of spy adventure mysteries like Lee's The Body in the Tower as well as Carter's The Gallagher Girls will be enthralled with this story of divided loyalties, romance, and intrigue set against the backdrop of upper class society during World War I.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Baby Up, Baby Down: A First Book of Opposites
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Handpicked by Amazon kids’ books editor, Seira Wilson, for Prime...
Be Our Guest!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join Gray Malin’s menagerie of wild animals for a stay...
Hat Tricks
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Hattie the magician―she’s a natural performer, and you’re invited...
Stanley's Toolbox
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
It’s another busy day with Stanley and friends! ...
Spring Is Here!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When spring arrives, baby animals come out to play with...
10 Things I Hate About Pinky
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The delightful follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s...
The Child of Chaos
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This is what fantasy fiction should be." --Piers Anthony, New...
Want to Read Rate this book 1 of 5 stars2 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars Preview Star-Spangled: The Story of a Flag, a Battle, and the American Anthem
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
“O say can you see” begins one of the most...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
July 20, 1969. It’s a day that has earned a...
Thurgood Marshall
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Thurgood Marshall—the great grandson of a slave—was born, African...
Down Under the Pier
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There’s lots of fun to be had up on the...
Lali's Feather
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This endearing story of identification and values shows the rewards...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Book three in a hilarious new series featuring one boy...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Everything starts with a question, like this one: Why do...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Worries, fears, and anxieties are all dragons that sneak up...

Latest Member Reviews

10 Things I Hate About Pinky
 
4.3
"10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY is a cute YA romance that features a fake-turned-real relationship and opposites-attract couple. Pinky..."
Not Another Love Song
 
5.0
"Different than I was expecting - and that’s a good thing! The story: All..."
Jo & Laurie
 
3.3
"Jo March is surprised at how well her novel LITTLE WOMEN has done. Now her publisher and readers want a..."
An Enchantment of Ravens
 
2.3
"I'm not very into reading fantasy (so I might not be the best person to review this). But I was..."
Cracked Up To Be
 
3.7
"Cracked up to be is an unsettling tale of a girl on the cusp of a mental breakdown for over..."
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
"THE MORNING FLOWER continues the OMTE ORIGINS story as Ulla continues to search for her heritage and for the missing..."
None of the Above
 
4.3
"This is one of those books that a reader can learn from. This is the first YA book that I..."
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
"THE LOST CITY is a highly engaging YA fantasy read about Ulla, a troll. Trolls are secretive creatures who live..."
Layoverland
 
5.0
"'Layoverland' by Gabby Noone, despite being about a teenager who has died, ironically creates a very inviting atmosphere for readers..."
Summer and July
 
5.0
"'Summer and July' by Paul Mosier is a beautifully written story perfect for summer reading. Readers will find themselves immersed..."
A Wicked Magic
 
4.0
"Friends Dan and Liss find a Black book of magic and try a spell. Only the spell goes terribly..."
Scarlet Odyssey
 
3.3
"SCARLET ODYSSEY is a high fantasy that takes place in a world at war. Men are often raised to be..."
Tigers, Not Daughters
 
5.0
"TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS is a lyrical book of sisterhood and grief. The Torres sisters had tried to escape their father..."
Tyler Johnson Was Here
 
4.0
"The fallout and protests following police choking George Floyd to death in Minnesota has consumed social media for the last..."
when you were everything
 
4.3
"WHEN YOU WERE EVERYTHING by Ashley Woodfolk is a YA Contemporary novel told in two timelines, “then” and “now.” The..."
Path of Night (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, #3)
 
5.0
"PATH OF NIGHT is another great installment of the books based on the Netflix show, CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA. This..."
Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars, #2)
 
5.0
"UNRAVEL THE DUSK is an enchanting sequel and finale to a unique YA fantasy. Maia is a tailor who dreamed..."
Sisters of Sword and Song
 
4.3
"SISTERS OF SWORD AND SONG is an enchanting and lush YA fantasy. The story follows two sisters, Halcyon and Evadne,..."
Straight On Till Morning: A Twisted Tale #8
 
3.7
"Straight on Till Morning is part of “A Twisted Tale” series, a multi author series of fairytale retellings created by..."
Faith Taking Flight
 
5.0
"Sixteen-year-old Faith Herbert has a secret. She can fly. When she runs into her fangirl crush Dakota, star of the..."