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A Solid, If Uninspired, Entry Level Fantasy/Mystery
on 15 March 2015
MILD SPOILERS. Poppy has found a silver key and a mysterious woman, who may be a witch, wants it and has enlisted a local bully to retrieve it. Chases, suspense and adventure follow. END SPOILERS.
This is a conventional adventure that has been written in an exciting but plain and straightforward style that would probably suit an early reader. And I mean that in a good way. The set up, two sisters move with their parents to an old house in an out of the way English village, in which the younger sister finds a mysterious silver key, is unexceptional. The events that follow this discovery are equally predictable. The resolution is efficient and just as predictable.
The strength, and the appeal that I see, is that the book is crisply and clearly written. The pace is extremely fast and the plot develops quickly. Vocabulary seems age appropriate. The characters, (sisters, neighbor girl, helpful school mates, understanding adults, parents, bully), are all presented just as you would expect. The action is easy to follow, and the story just barrels along.
There is no irony and no goofing on the genre. There are no odd missteps or weird changes in tone. Descriptions are effective and dialogue is straightforward. There are no red herrings and no confusing shifts in the storytelling to throw off a young reader. The general tone is suspenseful yet upbeat and I would expect it to thrill rather frighten a young reader.
I could see a young reader getting a kick out of this book and feeling a certain sense of satisfaction at having completed it. I could also see it encouraging that reader to develop a taste for more advanced and complex magical adventure tales. That alone seems to make the book worth a look for your younger reader.
Please note that I found this book while browsing kindleunlimited freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.