Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 512 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Rolling in the Deep series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3/5 star
“Siblings Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker once had everything they could ever want. But everything changed when Dr. Walker lost his job. Now the family must relocate to an old Victorian house, formerly the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff—a house that simultaneously feels creepy and too good to be true. By the time the Walkers realize that one of their neighbors has sinister plans for them, they’re banished to a primeval forest way off the grid.
Bloodthirsty medieval warriors patrol the woods around them, supernatural pirates roam the neighboring seas, and a power-hungry queen rules the land. To survive, the siblings will have to be braver than they ever thought possible—and to fight against their darkest impulses. The key may lie in their own connection to the secret Kristoff legacy. But as they unravel that legacy, they’ll discover that it’s not just their family that’s in danger . . . it’s the entire world.”
This is the first book in the House of Secrets series. The best thing about this book were the illustrations and the quality of the book; it is a beautifully constructed book with deckled pages and thick high quality paper.
The story itself was pretty shallow and empty; there is a lot of action and things move quickly but somehow it just wasn’t engaging. There just didn’t seem to be much of a bigger picture with this story. The family of kids are just running frantically from one event to the next.
Given the above, despite all the action, things ended up feeling repetitive. By the end, although it wasn’t written awfully or anything, I just wanted to be done with this book and move on to something else.
I was a bit surprised at how vicious the story was at points. This is a middle grade story yet the kids were beaten, tortured, and very violent at times. The level of violence seemed a bit over the top for a middle grade read.
Overall this was an okay fantasy adventure story. Younger kids, who are less critical than me, might enjoy the fast-pace…however the level of violence might be too much for them. This is one of those books where I struggle to see what audience the authors were aiming for. The story is too shallow for the YA/adult reader but a bit too vicious for kids. I don’t plan on continuing the series.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– Mount TBR Reading Challenge
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
– Steampunk Reading Challenge
– YA Reading Challenge