House of Secrets

Author: C. Columbus & N. Vizzini
Pages: 490
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover 
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): 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 as a result of an inexplicable transgression. Now the family is moving into Kristoff House, a mysterious place built nearly a century earlier by Denver Kristoff, a troubled writer with a penchant for the occult.

Suddenly the siblings find themselves launched on an epic journey into a mash-up world born of Kristoff’s dangerous imagination, to retrieve a dark book of untold power, uncover the Walker family’s secret history and save their parents . . . and maybe even the world. 

My Summary: The Walkers were always a relatively happy family... until the incident. And even though they won't discuss what happened, the kids know that there is something really odd about the whole thing. What could have caused their father to doze off in the middle of a surgery and carve a mysterious symbol into the stomach of patient?

The Walkers are trying to start over, and Kristoff house seems like the perfect place to start. Purchased at a ridiculously low price, the family is hoping that pretending they're doing okay will make things so. But it soon becomes apparent that Kristoff house is not what it seems, and if they want to survive, they're going to have to rely on each other more than ever before.

My Thoughts: I really wanted to like this book more than I did. The premise was really interesting, and the elements of mystery and fantasy used seemed like a great combination. Even the characters were great - each of the Walker kids had their own distinct personality and were really likeable. But to me, this book suffers from "plot cluttering" -- there was just too much packed into one book.

Don't get me wrong, I really liked the writing. It didn't feel like a compilation written by two people, which is rare when a book has two authors. The way the authors combined the more contemporary characters with an older, almost classical writing style made for an interesting read, and the characters were well-developed. It was just -- to me, at least -- too much of a good thing.

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to any fans of MG, fantasy, and adventure. Let me know what you think of it! 

1 comment:

  1. I have to say... that cover is really compelling! It does sound pretty interesting... hmmm..


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