I’ve just finished reading this, and guess what folks, I borrowed my copy form the library. I’d read Nought and Crosses and Knife Edge some time ago and had been rather put out by the annoying cliff-hanger at the end of Knife Edge – and the spoiler when you look at the blurb on Checkmate. I borrowed Checkmate from the Radcliffe library when I joined on 5 February 2011 – you know, that day when we all tried to show how important libraries are.
Checkmate was fine and it seemed that the whole story in the trilogy was resolved, more or less satisfactorily. So would Double Cross be a type of epilogue?
Hardly! Most of the way through I thought the conclusion was going to be that there would be no way out of the poverty trap and that life was hopeless on a gangland controlled social-housing estate. It threatens to become depressing though Blackman successfully gains our empathy for main character Tobey.
Then comes the amazing twist. I won’t put in a spoiler here. You may think she used some sort of deus ex machina, but not really: everything has been very carefully set up. The ending is upbeat, and at first glance possibly a little too upbeat for the young adult market. But no, she has left the reader much to ponder and plenty of scope for different interpretations of what the epilogue actually implies.
A fantastic read. No wonder Malorie Blackman is such a respected writer.