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House of Secrets (House of Secrets, Book 1) Paperback – 27 Feb 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (27 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007490151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007490158
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“A breakneck, jam-packed, roller coaster of an adventure’ –
J. K. Rowling

“an engrossing page-turner.” – The Guardian

“House of Secrets…serves up everything an eight to twelve year old reader could possibly want from an adventure.” – Love Reading 4 Kids

From the Back Cover

Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker once had everything: two loving parents, a beautiful house in San Francisco, and all the portable electronic devices they could want. But everything changed when Dr. Walker lost his job in the wake of a mysterious incident. Now in dire straits, the family must relocate to an old Victorian house that used to be the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff a house that feels simultaneously 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. Their parents? Gone. Their friends? A world away. And they aren't alone. 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 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 it's not just their family that's in danger... it's the entire world.

From master storytellers Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini comes this wildly imagi-native fantasy about a family's journey to find its way home." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I just bought a sample of this book and i am absoloutley hooked. I am a big fan of J.K. Rowling, so when i saw her reveiw of this book i had to give it a go and im so glad i did. Really well written it makes a story that could seem so unrealistic, realistic.You can really feel for the kids and all together, it is just brilliant. I would really recomend this book to anyone, any age
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Format: Hardcover
THE HOUSE OF SECRETS follows three siblings and their family as they are forced to move to a mysterious new house in San Francisco and end up embarking on a journey to retrieve a dark book of untold power.
The Walker kids had it all: loving parents, a big house in San Francisco, all the latest video games . . . But everything changed when their father lost his job. Now the family is moving into Kristoff House, a mysterious place built nearly a century earlier by a troubled fantasy writer. Suddenly the siblings find themselves launched on an epic journey, to retrieve a dark book of untold power and uncover the Walker family's secret history. Oh and save their parents . . . and maybe even the world.

House of Secrets was a brilliant read. Once I had read a few pages, I found it difficult to put down. Well written, fast paced, lots of action and humour. This is a true adventure story about three children, Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker, who moves to Kristoff House, perched on or literally over Sea Cliff. The house which appears almost Tardis like is an old Victorian house that once belonged to the Kristoff family.
The house seems way out of the family's budget, especially after the "incident" that is hinted at, that had befallen their surgeon father. However the agent tells them that they are looking for a particular family fallen on hard times and they are that family. Of course things are never that simple and as the story unfolds we learn of the connections between the Walker's and the Kristoff's.
All the children feel uneasy at the house, but the parents love the house, and they decide to buy.
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Format: Hardcover
People who are comparing this book to Harry Potter are just being ridiculous. Just because J.K Rowling has said something good about the book does not mean it is Harry Potter. Adults who are comparing this to Harry Potter must have not read either carefully because there is really nothing much in common because there is pirates and swords and pistol and British pilots from World War One I think.
It is a brilliant book and I felt I was actually there. When Cordelia was feeling pain I could feel pain burning within me.
This is coming form an Nine-year old girl who actually knows the difference between two quite different books.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I purchased this book in part because of the recommendation of J K Rowling.
The story is not bad but the characters do not draw the reader into their world; they are a little under developed and consequently the story feels overlong. The premise of the tale is a mixture of "InkHeart" and the usual quest story. I disliked the younger sister finding her very irritating at times. I also think that this is aimed at a slightly younger age group perhaps 9 to 11. "The Emerald Atlas" series is more exiting and a better read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a thrilling adventure. Reads more like the transcript of a film than a novel and, coming from Chris Columbus, you can see why. Would recommend to reluctant readers as it's fast pace and twists in the plot will keep them turning the pages.
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Format: Hardcover
Caroline for www.bigbooklittlebook.com
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

After an incident at work leaves their father jobless and the Walker family homeless, the discounted purchase of Kristoff House, the unusual but elegant creation of an eccentric novelist, is too good an opportunity to miss. While the monetary cost is nominal, it all too quickly becomes evident that someone intends for the family to pay a much higher price.

At over five hundred pages, the House of Secrets is a large book by most standards. For the middle grade category it is undoubtedly a beast of a book. But as it moves seamlessly from atmospherically creepy tension, to humor, via heart racing action, breath catching peril and wide-eyed surprise, I found that I was absorbed, entertained and delighted by every single page.

The co-writers film and TV backgrounds shine through. Reading the House Of Secrets was an almost cinematic experience full of wondrous Technicolor images and larger than life characters. This was enhanced by the multiple third person, past tense perspective.
I had no idea what was going to happen next or which fantastical being was about to be introduced to our cast and I felt like I was watching an epic adventure movie from my 80's childhood.

Although very much a driven by the fast paced plot, I was delighted by the realistically flawed but likeable Walkers. As the eldest of four siblings, the squabbling, antagonistic, yet warm and protective relationship felt spot on and I could, all to easily, identify with the bossy, slightly condescending, mother hen, Cordelia.
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