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Posted March 3, 2013
Firstly, what the heck with that cover? The ghostly, deathly look of the cover is a bit misleading as to what the story is actually about.
This e-book has a part one and a part two. The first part chronicles Miriam, experiencing the death of her Father (they weren't that close) and his business partner, along with his wife, their son, and son's friend moving into the mansion.
The couple are caricature's of evil, shallow and selfish. Though things change a bit, when they find Miriam too much of a challenge and hire a dark skinned (gasp!) and mystical woman from the nearby islands as a governess.
The kids start to get along and soon become wise to the fact that the adults around them seem up to something, along with the encourage from the Governess to exercise their sleuthing skills (that's pretty much how she tricks Miriam into behaving, act nice on the outside, so you can use it to your advantage later).
Miriam and Simon the son of the couple, get separated from his friend Neil, and bam! The book ends quite unexpectedly.
And we're on to Neil's story, without so much as a by-your-leave. Neil's story is good, it's just a little off-putting because you didn't expect it to be there.
He ends up on the island that the governess was originally from, and is taken in by a family with a very unruly little girl, worse perhaps then Miram herself. He uses Mana, the Governesses tactics to make the little girl behave, and the family is joyously grateful for this change in family tensions and locks him in his room ate night, so that he can NEVER leave them alone with their child again.
Neil and the girl, Riki, have a sweet relationship. I don't know what the age difference is, but she's definitely smitten with him, and he tends to bounce around from teacher, big brother, accomplice and friend.
They become wrapped up in a plot to save the Queen of the island, which provides a useful and strong wood that can be obtained nowhere else, and is exported to the mainlands through the company owned by Miriam's late Father and the the partners the Marchpanes.
Things are a big hinky with the Marchpanes, and you learn some of the mystery, but not fully, before the close of this book.
It was a nice read as a kids-preteen book. The only things I didn't like, were that some of the adults were a little over-acted, especially Riki's family. I enjoyed it as an adult though, and I know for certain I would have liked it as a preteen.
And I noticed there seemed to be quite a few spelling errors and wrong words, though....
Posted January 17, 2013