Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Greenglass House review

Greenglass House

Book talk: "There was a city that could not be mapped, and inside it a house that could not be drawn."  Milo lives with his parents in a rambling old inn filled with as many secrets as the smugglers that come to stay there.  The inn sits high on a hill overlooking a harbor with two ways up: a steep path, or a cable railway.  Tourist season was long over and snows were arriving to leave them stranded from the main town.  Milo didn't mind--he was looking forward to the time alone with his parents--which is why he was surprised and upset when the cable railway's bell rang to notify them of a waiting passenger.  Soon Milo's quiet holiday has turned into a loud and chaotic mystery as eccentric guests fill the inn and begin to sabotage it in their hunt for hidden treasure.  Milo joins forces with a new friend to solve the mystery and find the treasure the guests are after but what starts as a game to pass the time soon turns into a dangerous adventure.

The premise of the story is filled with intrigue and excitement and it only gets better from there!  An old inn in a smuggler's bay trapped by a winter storm--what more could you ask for from a mystery setting?  The characters are eccentric but instead of using these eccentricities as a cheap jokes they're another layer in these well-rounded characters. The story has a strong emotional core that holds all the adventure aspects together and makes them more resonant.  Milo is portrayed with all his flaws and frustrations and fears.  The way he works to get to know each guest and make their lives better despite the fact that he didn't want anyone to be there is touching.  Most touching is the way the book deals with Milo's feelings around his adoption and an author's note reveals that Milford wrote the book while going through the process of adopting a child herself.  Did I mention that Milo and his new friend  use the framework of a role playing game to provide a cover for and give them courage to investigate the inn's mysteries?  And in case I haven't made it clear yet the main plot revolves around a bunch of thieves competing to find a treasure hidden in an inn that used to be owned by an infamous smuggler.  So much to love about this book!

Every book its reader:  I'd give this to anyone looking for a good adventure or mystery especially those with an interest in role playing games.  I'd say it's fine for 4th grade and up.

Themes, Topics, and Trends: Adoption, Smugglers, Treasure Hunts, Mystery, Competent Adults, RPGs, Ghosts


Kate Milford has her own website

You can find a fake website for the Nagspeake Tourism Board (the city the book takes place in) to find out more about the setting of the novel.

Source: ebook from public library

Greenglass House by Kate Milford: buy it or check it out today!

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