A teenage spy. A Nazi boarding school. The performance of a lifetime.
Sarah has played many roles – but now she faces her most challenging of all. Because there's only one way for a Jewish orphan spy to survive at a school for the Nazi elite. And that's to become a monster like them.
Survive. Deceive. Resist.
They think she is just a little girl. But she is the weapon they never saw coming... with a mission to destroy them all.
Her name is Sarah. She's blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish in 1939 Germany. And her act of resistance is about to change the world.
After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He's part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she'd ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she's the Nazis' worst nightmare.
“A stunning, smart, grounded tale of intrigue in Nazi Germany, so guilty and detailed it feels like true memory rather than fiction. Sarah is an angry, appealing, heart-wrenching hero, superhuman and achingly frail in equal measure.”
Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity
“Spectacular debut…a pulse-pounding, pitch-black Nazi espionage thriller told from the perspective of a teenage Jewish girl…While giving trauma and sorrow their full, deserved weight, Killeen sets a cracking pace – and pulls off the risks he takes with breathtaking panache.”
Imogen Russell Williams, The Guardian
“This clever novel explores how unacceptable attitudes can take hold, which makes it timely as well as tense.”
Nicollette Jones, The Sunday Times
“Killeen expertly conjures the day-to-day evil of Nazi Germany in this terrific page turner...”
Paul Dowswell, author of Ausländer
“I found myself mesmerized by Sarah’s journey into a world of human monsters. Orphan Monster Spy weaves one heroine’s courage through a spectrum of darkness, and the effects resonate long after the final page.”
Ryan Graudin, award-winning author of the Wolf By Wolfduology
“Fast-paced, cleverly constructed, and with references to real-life heroes, heroines, and villains, this promising debut title will appeal to fans of historical fiction and spy stories.”
Debbie Carton, Booklist
“A powerful, bleak, and penetrating portrait of an isolated young woman excelling in unimaginable danger.” Kirkus Reviews
“A riveting plot-driven thriller, it’s an unusual angle for a Second World War story, and Sarah’s psychological journey is especially compelling.”
Fiona Noble, The Bookseller
“Set in a brilliant, terrifyingly-imagined Third Reich Germany, Orphan Monster Spy's Sarah sits alongside Lyra and True Grit's Mattie Ross as one of the best spiky, clever, daring, unyielding protagonists I've read.”
Martin Stewart, author of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize-longlisted Riverkeep
“Both unforgiving and brilliant - a book to leave you breathless.”
Non Pratt, author of Trouble
“Sarah's story makes for a compelling adventure thriller that draws upon some of the darkest hours from human history. It cleverly achieves a balance between gripping page-turner and a novel with real heart and profound comment around compassion and humanity. Highly recommended.”
Jake Hope, Chair of CILIP Carnegie Greenaway Judges
“I devoured this book. It is insanely good! Action-packed, thrill-a-minute so make sure you pick this one up.”
No Safer Place
“Timely novel…with a comic book hero-style central character…Sarah is refreshing and empowering.”
Brum Radio Book Show
“Sarah...was an awesome kick-ass protagonist...A white-knuckle surge through some terrifying rapids of plot-twists and drama.”