The Specialists: Native Tongue
by Shannon Greenland
Release Date: July 31, 2008
“GiGi is back again and on a brand new mission in the fourth book in this original series!
Lovable GiGi is pairing up with expert linguist Darren, aka Parrot, on a mission to South America. When a centuries-old vase is found in a cave full of hieroglyphics, it is discovered that this vase was important to at least fifteen different North American and South American Indian tribes. And now all fifteen nations want it back. They are meeting in Rutina, South America, to "decide" who gets the vase. Enter the Specialists, and Parrot who will go as the official translator. And when no one can decode the ancient cave writings, not even the elders of each nation, GiGi comes to the rescue. Of course there's a hitch. One of the tribal chiefs attending the meeting in Rutina is connected to Parrot's past—in a very bad way. The question is, will Parrot be able to face his past and complete the mission, or will the vase—and the fate of the Native American nation—fall into the wrong hands?” (blurb from The Specialists: Native Tongue)
Although Native Tongue is the fourth in The Specialists series, it is still amazing as a standalone book. Short scattered explanations help the reader figure out what’s going on and who everyone is: a much less dull way than handing it out in one large serving. Essentially, the Specialists are a group of extremely smart teens who are hired to go on missions. They each have special areas of expertise, hence their name, The Specialists. Naturally, such talented youths have different quirks, and the main character, GiGi, is no exception. With a penchant for lollipops and a tendency to lapse into nerd speak, GiGi is just one in the cast of eccentric characters which provides a colorful and versatile medium for the author to work with. The plot itself is also quite interesting, an adventure still rooted in reality, making it easier for the reader to connect to as opposed to a deep fantasy story. The only weak point of Native Tongue is that some scenes and sequences seem a bit rushed. The whole book is crammed into 244 small pages, making it a quick read. I would recommend this story to those who like fast-paced easy-to-read adventures.