Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Review: The House of Unknown Mysteries

Once again I am pleased to be offering a review. This time it is for a work of fiction, The House of Unknown Mysteries by Chris Hawe.

This is a great short story. The characters are interesting and realistic and the plot engaging. I do have a bit of a problem with the title, as it seems redundant to me. However, once I realized the title was chosen by a child, it made more sense.

This is located in Dorrance Publishing's Bookstore under "Fiction: mystery/suspense/horror" but should be more accurately filed under "Juvenile" since it is obviously written for a "tween". Nonetheless, I still found the story enjoyable even as an adult. I have a 12-year-old cousin whom I think would thoroughly enjoy this book and intend to pass it along to her.

The writing is simple, to the point and easy to follow. The author does a proficient job in creating an image in the reader's mind and an affection towards the main characters. As I said, it is best suited for an older child, but there is one thing that may or may not be a hindrance to a young reader. The scene is set somewhere in England, or the United Kingdom, and thus is written in the English vernacular. The children say things which are uncommon in American culture and common items are referred to by different names and/or spelling (ie: aeroplane, portacabins and rubbish). However, it is my assumption that this would not create enough confusion in the reader so as to take away from the enjoyment of the story.

As far as mysteries go, I found the plot to be "curious". I was curious as to what was yet to be discovered. However, a child up to the age of 12 may find it mysterious indeed.

Recommended for ages 8-12 or even adults who want a quick and simple read.

I received a complimentary copy of The House of Unknown Mysteries as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

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