Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Secret of Dinswood by Ellen Alexander

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced by the author, publisher, or other related entity.


Cover Love:

For Readers who Like...
Breakdown Review:

The Secret of Dinswood by Ellen Alexander is a cute middle grade read on par with Nancy Drew meets Harry Potter with a little Goonies tossed in to the mix. I picked up this book for two simple reasons: I enjoyed the cover and I liked the idea of a boarding school treasure hunt.

The writing is on-par with a middle grade novel. It is bright and thorough, though it could on occasion due with some tightening up. There are cases where it feels as if the reader cannot be trusted to infer what is happening or connect pieces of the plot on their own. This made me cringe a little. An author needs to have faith in their readers. There needs to be a balance between what is told and what the reader is allowed to imagine on their own. This narrative erred toward telling too much.

My excitement in the setting and the basis of the plot was fairly well founded. The story read easily, maintained my interest, and kept up a simple level of suspense appropriate for the goals of the read. Descriptions were well done, the movement of the plot was smooth, and there were no large holes in the plot or wildly unbelievable events given the background of the story. Everything seemed to work well and drive the plot in the correct direction.

The characters were well constructed and worked well within the setting. There were some stereotypical tropes used, but it works fine under the umbrella of this genre. The interactions between the characters will well done as a whole. There were a few instances where the narration shifted to focus on other characters. This tended to throw me off and cause a small hiccup in the reading, but I can understand the intent of the author. It just didn't seem to work well in this case.

The story held my attention well to the end. It was a fairly predictable ending, but...again...that works perfectly given the genre. Despite the predictability, the excitement was carried through to the end and I was not left unfulfilled with a flat ending. In fact, this story is a part of an expected series and I wouldn't mind continuing to read it.

Emotional Response:   

Series Continuation Likelihood:


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring our book on your blog and for reviewing it!


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