Book Review: Out Of Sight, Out Of Time By Ally Carter

Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Young Adult, Spy
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: 13 March 2012
Goodreads Summary: The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan–an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers that months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.
Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.


WARNING: This review may contain spoilers for those who have not read the previous four books in the series. Reviews of those can be found here:

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You
Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy
Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover
Only the Good Spy Young

At the end of Only The Good Spy Young, Cammie was just sneaking out of Gallagher Academy having decided that she was a putting everyone else’s lives at risk by being around her. Out of Sight, Out of Time begins with Cammie in a strange place and she has absolutely no recollection of how she got there. She’s in extremely bad shape and according to the nun who’s with her when she wakes up, she’s been sleeping for six whole days. To make matters worse, it turns out that four months have passed since Cammie left her family and friends at Gallagher Academy. She hasn’t got the faintest idea what she was doing during those four months or how she came to be in a nunnery in the Alps.

As soon as Cammie can, she calls for help and is reunited with her friends and family, but things will never be the same for Cammie. Cammie has been badly damaged by the traumatic events that have befallen her during the past four months and though she can’t remember any of it, it’s evident that it wasn’t a breezy summer vacation for Cammie. She left Gallagher Academy to seek out the Circle of Cavan, who were trying to kidnap her for unknown reasons. However, with a really bad case of amnesia, we have no idea whether or not she found them and if she did, what happened. Cammie’s world has been turned completely upside down with her family and friends treating her like a ticking time bomb. She’s determined to get her memory back, no matter how painful those memories might be.

So if you’ve been reading my reviews, you’ll know that my excitement about this series has grown and grown and grown with every book. Out of Sight, Out of Time was no exception and it was so much better than I expected it would be. It was quite removed from the setting of the other books as a lot of it was spent away from Gallagher Academy and its academic setting and things were much more about spies in the field. This book was absolutely filled with mystery and action. The reader is just as much in the dark as Cammie is as to what happened during those four months when she was away. Gradually, little snippets of information are leaked out and a larger picture begins to form.

This book was in no way shape or form predictable and I had absolutely no idea what to expect (quite a feat for a young adult book these days). There are so many plot twists as the story unfolds and I love that they weren’t exclusive to the main Cammie storyline but they also included other characters. In my previous review, I said that the plot had started to hone in on the main storyline involving Cammie and the Circle of Cavan. However, I think it started to branch out again in Out of Sight, Out of Time as there were lots of insights into the pasts/presents of many other characters. The main supporting characters hasn’t changed much at all this series and it still includes: Zach, Joe Solomon, Ms Morgan (Cammie’s mom), Aunt Abby, Bex, Liz and Macey.

This book is wonderfully written and you just can’t help but flick through page after page trying to race your way to the end. As Cammie is suffering from amnesia, there is the feeling that everything is shrouded in mist at the beginning of the book and as the story unfolds, the mist gradually fades away. Perhaps mist isn’t the best example because it doesn’t capture just how exciting everything about this was. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the story was brilliantly structured so that the clues revealed themselves slowly as the plot unraveled.

I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews that this series has gradually been losing its humorous tone and that has continued into book five but it is definitely not a bad thing. The plot line has developed wonderfully into more serious and mature ground and as Cammie has grown up. From a naive and sheltered spy in training to an experienced field operations spy, you can detect a distinctive change in tone. I think that underneath, she’s still very much the same girl that we met back in book one, but she’s been forced to grow up due to the number of life threatening situations she has been (and still is) in.

In some of the other books I’ve read Cammie’s thoughts and been incredibly irritated by how blind and naive she could be, but now, I believe everything that she believes. The fact that this story is written from Cammie’s point of view works very well with this book as you’re completely absorbed in Cammie’s thoughts as she battles through her memory loss. As a reader, you are sucked into the main character’s mind and start to feel everything that she went through which only makes the reading experience that much better. At some points I really felt like I was living vicariously through Cammie and that’s all down to the brilliance of Ally Carter’s writing.

I was under the impression that this was the last in the Gallagher Girls series, but turns out it isn’t! Not quite sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I suppose it’s a good thing because there’s more to this story, but I’m going to go crazy waiting for the next book to come out! Thankfully this book doesn’t end on too much of a cliffhanger but I’m still dying to find out what happens next.

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