Behind Enemy Lines (Infinity Ring 6), by Jennifer A. Nielsen, for Timeslip Tuesday

This week, Timeslip Tuesday falls on a Wednesday (these things happen, even in the best of families), and today's book is Behind Enemy Lines (Infinity Ring 6), by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Scholastic, 2013). 

The Infinity Ring series tells of three kids (Daq, Sera, and Riq) trying to fix history and prevent a cataclysm, and so far in the series they have bounced between many time periods and many places...but still there are more breaks in the way things should have gone for them to set right.  I was rather excited for this episode, because it's about World War II, a favorite period of mine.   In the time line in which the three kids grew up, the Allies didn't win WW II.  Instead, it was a stalemate, allowing a third party ("SQ," an organization working against the time-fixers side of things) to take over.  

But if  Daq, Sera, and Riq can fix one small thing, the Allies will win....and this small thing is a really truly cool piece of trickery on the part of the Allies.  They took a corpse, disguised him as an officer in the Royal Marines, complete with just tons of neat little details to make his identity more believable, and dumped him at sea, where he'd wash up in Spain.   The corpse was carrying Secret Information about the planned Allied invasion of Greece--when really the Allies were planning to invade Sicily.   If all went well, the Germans would get their hands on this intelligence, and swallow the story hook, line, and sinker.  And it worked!

Operation Mincemeat, as this was known, really happened, although not, of course, helped along by three kids from the future.  Jennifer Nielsen did a great job bringing it to life (inadvertent irony), and I enjoyed it lots, and also enjoyed delving on my own deeper into the Mincemeat story (cool fact--because the Germans were so badly burned by this one, two subsequent occasions when the Allies accidentally let important information fall into their hands were dismissed as being more trickery, saving the Allies' tail).

The book did strain my credulity.  Too many adults trusted the kids for no good reason, and some of the opportunities they encountered were not exactly plausible.   But extra interest was added by a time travelling bad guy working hard to mess things up, and I was glad to see that in this episode the three protagonists were spending less time annoying each other (and me), and more time getting things done.   The fact that they were separated for most of the story helped in this regard!

So a fine addition to the series, and it's a pity that it can't quite stand alone, because kids who are WW II buffs who haven't necessarily read the whole series would enjoy it lots.

Review copy received from the publisher.

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