Review: The Name of This Book Is Secret

Monday, October 24, 2011

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Author : Pseudonymous Bosch
Published : September 28th 2008
Page count : 384
Series : Secret #1
Format : Library Binding

 This is the story about a secret. but it also contains a secret story.

When adventurous detectives, Cass, an ever-vigilant survivalist, and Max-Ernest, a boy driven by logic, discover the Symphony of Smells, a box filled with smelly vials of colorful ingredients, they accidentally stumble upon a mystery surrounding a dead magician's diary and the hunt for immortality.

Filled with word games, anagrams, and featuring a mysterious narrator, this is a book that won't stay secret for long.

Overall, I think I was expecting a little more from this book. The beginning was very promising (being an entire two pages of X-ed out writing), and the occasional "I can't tell you this particular fact because it's a secret" was cute, but the author's constant interruptions we're a little irritating. I can see that he was going for a sort of 'Lemony Snicket' vibe, but fell short. The writing had a nice sense of humor though, and was unique in it's own little way.

I really liked the plot itself though, which is why I've rated this 3 stars. The Symphony of Smells was really intriguing, and the whole Egyptian theme - though random - was actually pretty interesting. The characters weren't quite as developed as I would have liked, but they experienced impressively realistic emotions and relationships, so I was mostly satisfied on that end. I especially liked all of the character's quirks. "Perfect" characters are much too overdone these days, so this entire cast was a breath of fresh air.

This was a fun and quirky read, and it is very likely that I'll peruse the rest of the series. While not up to the standards I was expecting (critics compared it to Lemony Snicket), it was a refreshing change from the angst of all the Young Adult fiction I've been reading lately.


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