Hunter and Elly have lost their parents and they’ve been sent to live with their Godparent; a professor who they have never met. Their new home looks like a big abandoned castle and is set in the middle of a forest. They meet Ms. Ellingbee and Margot, and both ladies take the two kids under their wing.
Much to the kids dismay and disgust, they find out they are not allowed leave their room. They get bored quite quickly (as kids do) and come up with a plan to escape their room and explore their new home. This leads to all sorts of trouble and the story unravels into a tale any young adult would (should) want to read.
Joe Hickey has shaped two young characters that kids can relate with quite easily. He has successfully created two orphans whose emotions will tug at the heart strings. It’s not hard to imagine yourself in their place. I do think this series, if it keeps going the way it has started, will and should end up being as popular as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. The story has all the popular elements that YA like.
What I liked: I liked that this was a book that both young adults and adults could enjoy: lets face it, most of us are just big kids on the inside anyway. I found it was action packed without being too fast paced.
I also liked that Mr. Hickey was able to successfully put the feelings of the two kids down on paper without ruining their characters. It can be easy to let depressing emotions take over, especially when a kid loses a parent, but Joe has managed to balance the emotions quite nicely so the characters don’t become boring and tedious.
What I didn’t like: That should actually be “who” I didn’t like. I didn’t like Sebastian. Every time I read about him I was hearing “Boo!! Hiss!! Boo!!” in my head.
Who would I recommend this to: I have a 13 year old son who doesn’t actually like Harry Potter so I’m going to suggest this series to him as an alternative and see if he likes it as much as I did.