Reading level: Middle Grade
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: September 14th, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. The synopsis sounded right up my alley; a threesome of quirky siblings with an eccentric father left to their own devices in a mysterious castle… It was a wonderful book. The narrator tells the story in a fun style, the descriptions are wonderful, and the mystery surrounding the children’s mother and the folly castle they visit is also fantastic. I loved it.
Otto, Lucia, and Max are all a bit strange. Otto, the oldest, obsessively wears a scarf around his neck and speaks only in hand signs, refusing to talk. Max, the youngest, thinks of things no one else can puzzle out. Lucia is a reader, who kind of serves as the go-between for the two brothers, and is constantly looking for the grim and fantastic in life. Their father paints disgraced royalty for a living and is gone intermittently, and their mother is missing. When he leaves on one of his trips he sends the kids to London to stay with someone who ends up being on holiday themselves. This leads the kids through a rather scary adventure in London and out to visit their great-Aunt Haddie who lives out in a folly castle in town of Snoring-by-the-Sea. There they discover more mysteries to unravel.
The book is beautifully written with a lot of wonderful descriptions, one of the kids narrates and adds in snarky comments throughout to keep things light. The characters in this book are amazing; they all have their quirks, but are full of caring and depth in their own way.
The mystery in the book is well done and much of the book is a bit eerie and creepy in tone; nothing ever gets too scary though. The conclusion to the mystery was fabulous.
Overall this book was all I hoped it would be and more. I really loved it. There is some great mystery here, quirky characters, adventure, and some great lessons about accepting people for who they are. It is a dark story and has a bittersweet ending; but I really enjoyed it.
This book goes towards the following reading challenge:
– The 100+ Book Reading Challenge