May 28, 2024

REVIEW City Spies: Golden Gate (City Spies #2) by James Ponti

City Spies: Golden Gate (City Spies #2) by James Ponti
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: March 8, 2021
Format: Audiobook (Borrowed from Library)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio 

The second book in James Ponti’s City Spies series, City Spies: Golden Gate, was another great installment in a fun adventure series perfect for middle-grade readers and above. In a setting where Spy Kids meets James Bond and Mission Impossible, it was fun to see our ragtag group of child spies take on jobs even the adult spies of MI6 can’t do. 

While the child spy theme is not a new one, I really appreciate the unique spin the author put on things. As we learned in the first book, each child has their own unique gifts (which were what inspired “Mother” to recruit them). Readers get to learn more about each of the children in this book, and see additional backstory on how some of the others in the team were recruited. The action starts right in the middle of a mission, and it was fun to get to see the team save the world again. It was also fun to see them outsmart various adults in the book. The wit and humor that each of the children demonstrate have had me invested in their characters and their journeys over the course of the books. Found family is a very big theme in the story, and there is a specific part of the ending that left me very emotional. I’m excited to see where the author takes that part of the storyline in the future. 

From the cover of the book and the title, I had assumed that a large chunk of the action would take place in San Francisco. While the city spies do end up in the California Bay Area, they also visit places like London, Australia, Oxford and Australia to help solve a case that’s been confusing MI6 for years. The sub plot of “Mother’s” missing children takes a step forward in this book, though we haven’t actually seen them in person yet. I’m curious to see how that mystery eventually resolves further down the line. 

Overall, this was another excellent read and I look forward to checking out more of the books in the series (I already picked up an audiobook copy of the third book, City Spies: Forbidden City). Lisa Flanagan once again did a great job bringing the voices of Brooklyn and the other characters to life with her performance in the audiobook. If you or a young reader in your life enjoys mystery and thrillers with spies, this book is worth a listen. 

CONTENT WARNINGS: Death, Kidnapping, Murder

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