Monday, September 26, 2016

Fall Reading 2016 The Secret Keepers


What if you found a unique and amazing object? What if it had been hidden away for the last 50 years and it was completely by accident that you discovered it? And then, what if you learned that a ruthless individual who controlled the entire city was after this object, and after you? It's hard to say what any of us might do in that situation since we don't have a sinister figure called The Smoke running our city and doing whatever he (or she), likes without any fear of the law. But that is exactly what happens to Reuben when he comes across a curious antique and draws the attention of The Smoke's right-hand man, the Counselor. From the moment the precious object comes into his possession, Reuben's life is changed forever. It is up to him and any friends he can make along the way to make sure that the change is a good one.

In a way the plot follows a similar storyline to that of "Star Wars: A New Hope." (No, seriously, hear me out.) There is the lonely boy who finds something and doesn't even know its value at first. Using this object, he acquires skills that would help him defeat the evil Counselor, and perhaps even take on the mysterious Smoke. As he struggles to protect himself and bring down the villains, he is joined by a clever and brave girl, and a fellow who has the habit of "borrowing" cars and lying. No wookies or robots, though. Sorry.

Fans of Stewart's other books, such as The Mysterious Benedict Society series, will be thrilled to have a new title with all the same features. There are clever children with abilities that help them in problem situations. There are evil and selfish adults that must be fought for the sake of everyone. And there are caring adults who try to help in whatever way they can. The action is fast-paced during the dangerous scenes, and the time in between builds the tension until the danger almost comes as a relief.

Highly recommended for middle grade readers and up, especially those who enjoyed The Mysterious Benedict Society or similar mystery/suspense stories.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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