First published on July 30, 2008.
When fifteen-year-old Beck Phillips travels by train to the secluded village of Kingsplot to live with his wealthy but estranged uncle, Beck discovers some dark family secrets. A buried basement, a forbidden conservatory, an old book of family history with odd references to . . . dragons? Beck's life is about to be changed forever in this suspenseful tale about the destructive nature of greed and the courage it takes to make things right. (book blurb)
To be fair, I haven't had this sitting around for a year. This was another chapter sampler I grabbed at BEA. They must have been leftovers from the publisher or something. And being the hoarder that I am, I snagged.
Meh. I wasn't all that impressed. I think it had mostly to do with the language and the way the story was told. I mean, this is a first person narrative of a 15-year-old boy and he was saying things like, "The fearful faces of the crowd of onlookers told me quite clearly that rampaging ivy was not something that normally happened at Callowbrow." Yeah, it's snarky and it's a pretty funny line. I just don't think it fit the mouth that it was coming out of. How many 15-year-old boys do you know that speak like this? It just didn't click for me.
I liked the excerpts from the dragon book, The Grim Knot, and even the story itself was pretty interesting; I just didn't like how it was being told. I don't know. It didn't sit right with me. It's almost like the timing wasn't right or something. Like maybe if I'd read it on a different day I'd like it. Strange, I know but there you have it.
There really isn't too much of a good reason not to like it (except for the voice which really did irk me) but I don't think I'd be able to get into it if I had more to read.
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