The Blackhope Enigma
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The Blackhope Enigma (The Blackhope Enigma #1)

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  288 ratings  ·  72 reviews
When Sunni Forrest’s stepbrother accidentally transports himself into a Renaissance painting, she and her friend Blaise set out to bring him back. They find themselves in a strange world of labyrinths, monsters and pirates.

Can they evade their greedy pursuers? And will they ever find their way home?
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Templar (first published October 1st 2010)
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I almost put this book down two sentences in, when we were told that the main character's name is Sunni Forrest [really?], but for reasons unknown, I kept reading.

I only kept reading for another 100 pages, and then happily abandoned it. There is an entire trainload of poorly-executed exposition; the characters are flat, and the plot non-existent. And I absolutely did not buy that, after her stepbrother vanished, Sunni would immediately leap to the conclusion that he'd been sucked into a painting...more
Blackhope Enigma was a boring book. It was an easy read, but it still took me ages to get through it because I just couldn't relate to the characters.
As many other readers have pointed out, their names are just ridiculous. Sunni Forrest. When I read that name, I was like, yeah, you got to be kidding me. What the hell? Sunni Forrest?
Reading a book about a girl with a name like that is painful. When I think of "Sunni Forrest", I think of a 6-year old girl with huge red spectacles, even huger fron...more
Being transported through/into paintings is hardly a new gimmick in fantasy (especially aimed at the younger set) but it is one that I like. I give Flavin credit for actually developing the world-inside-the-painting a bit, instead of making it extremely limited and static as many authors do with this concept (see The Shadows for an example of what I'm talking about). I liked that techniques like underpainting played a role. Beyond that, however, this book did nothing for me. Flat characters, fla...more
Hylary Locsin
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

Fourteen-year-old Sunni Forrest and her classmate Blaise Doran are both studying famous Renaissance artist Fausto Corvo for a project at their English school. Sunni enjoyed getting top marks in her class for her artistic skills, that is until Blaise blew in from America and wowed everyone with his intricate drawings. One afternoon while studying a painting called The Mariner’s Return to Arcadia ho...more
A new favorite for sure. Teresa Flavin blends magic, art history and mythology into a wonderful adventure. Sunni and Blaise are art students studying the Medeival painter Fausto Corvo for a school project. When Sunni, her step-brother Dean & Blaise go to The Blackhope Tower to see Corvo's famous painting The Mariner's Return to Arcadia, Dean suddenly disappears in a labyrinth in the tower. He stumbled across a key word in the painting's description, when spoke in repetition in the labyrinth...more
Serendipity Reviews
From the first chapter,you are sucked straight into the labyrinth and the story sets off on a hearty pace, barely allowing you to catch your breath, let alone calculate your bearings. I literally felt like I had been sucked into the Renaissance painting too. Just by sheer chance, Sunni's step brother, Dean is transported first into a world that no one knew existed. Luckily Sunni worked out exactly how he had got sucked into the labyrinth and went straight in after him.

The scenes within the pain...more
This is a solid middle grade adventure story that should appeal to fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. Even though it's not my genre, I enjoyed it. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to other adult YA readers, but the book reminded of kind of books I enjoyed as a later elementary school/early middle school student.

This book tells what happens when spunky and artistic Sunni has to enter a magical painting to rescue her little stepbrother who has already accidentally triggered the magic...more
COVER ART: A (Beautiful, I love it.)
ORIGINALITY: B+ (It reminded me of the Narnia books. But that's a good thing :) )
EXCITEMENT: B (Excitement level could have bren more intense around the ship scenes,
maybe the giant crabs? A show down between Corvo and Angus at the end?))
WRITING/DELIVERY: B+ (Only a few very minor typos.)

RECOMMEND: Yes. For any person of any age who enjoys reading magical adventure books.

Ms Flavin took me into a whole new world of adventure. I absolutely loved...more
Pam Steinke
Paintings and Labyrinths and Monsters, Oh My!

Sunni and step-brother, Dean, are at Blackhope Castle so Sunni can work on an art project. While Sunni is studying a painting, Dean studies the labyrinth on the floor and accidently transports himself into the painting…Sunni manages to figure out how he did it and follows him…leaving her friend Blaise as the only person who knows what is going on.

Meanwhile, Sunni and Dean must figure out how to get themselves back out of the painting. Along the way th...more
Kissed by Ink
The cover is what grabbed me first, but the story is why I keep reading. It is sooo different from what I am used to reading, but in a good way.

Sunni Forrest, ridiculous name by the way, is a talented artist who has some competition at school. Mr. Bell, the art teacher, assigns the class to choose a painter and complete a project. Blaise,the competition, and Sunni have both chosen to research Fausto Corvo.

They meet at the Blackhope Tower while conducting some research, but instead find themsel...more
Jessi (Reading in the Corner)
The Blackhope Enigma is a fun mystery that all starts when Sunni’s stepbrother, Dean, accidentally transports himself into one of Fausto Corvo’s magical paintings. Sunni, determined to get him back, follows the labyrinth path and joins him in the picture, leaving Blaise standing alone and shortly thereafter being shuffled out of the room by a guard. Determined to get Sunni and Dean out, Blaise finds a way into the picture with them, despite the media and police crowds searching for two lost kids...more
Sunni is studying one of the works of her favorite artist Fausto Corvo for a school project when she discovers that a classmate, Blaise, is studying the same work. She is dismayed because she worries that Blaise may be a better artist than she. She is also faintly annoyed because all the girls seem to swoon for him. It turns out, however, that Blaise has no intention of giving up his pursuit of the subject and convinces Sunni that they can both work on the same subject. Her sketch is interrupted...more
Sunni was used to her step-brother misbehaving, but this was a bit much even for her. One minute he was loudly rambling on while she and her classmate were trying to concentrate on their school project and the next he's gone. They're in an old castle room with no windows and only one way out but she didn't see him leave through the door. And what was that strange spark of light in the painting on the wall just after he disappeared? There's only one solution: as crazy as it sounds he must have di...more
Creating a world is not only the work of an author, it is also the domain of an artist and in The Blackhope Enigma, Teresa Flavin has combined the two to create a fascinating magical mystery adventure.

From the very first page I was thrilled to discover that this is a novel from an author who drew inspiration from her career as an artist and illustrator. It’s actually a very refreshing way of writing, it’s almost like Teresa is writing out one of those enormous landscape paintings where if you lo...more
Lewes Library
The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin fell flat. While the premise was promising the writing and story were underwhelming. The story chronicles Sunni, an art student, who goes to study a famous painting at the Blackhope Tower along with her sort-of-crush Blaise. While there her little brother, Dean, shows up and vanishes into the painting. In a panic Sunni repeats the actions her brother took and finds herself inside the painting as well. Blaise follows shortly after. Once inside the painting th...more
Mrs. Giuffrida
The cover is what grabbed me first, but the story is why I keep reading. It is sooo different from what I am used to reading, but in a good way.

Sunni Forrest, ridiculous name by the way, is a talented artist who has some competition at school. Mr. Bell, the art teacher, assigns the class to choose a painter and complete a project. Blaise,the competition, and Sunni have both chosen to research Fausto Corvo.

They meet at the Blackhope Tower while conducting some research, but instead find themsel...more
Book Twirps
While studying a strange painting by a Medieval painter in Blackhope Tower, Sunni Forrest’s annoying step-brother, Dean, is mysteriously transported into the old painting. Sunni has no choice but to enter the painting herself in hopes of rescuing him. Eventually, she is joined by her friend Blaise who witnessed Sunni’s disappearance and is determined to bring her back. The group find themselves lost in a strange new world called Arcadia, which at first glance seems almost perfect, but on closer...more
Star parts: Someone once made a flippant comment about illustrators 'having no idea how to write'. From what I've read of Flavin's blog I would say that she considers herself an artist and the words on the page paint such vivid pictures. From the Tower to the inside of the painting and the different layers of it, everything was so vivid. I was constantly amazed by Flavin's imagination. She has created a world full of intrigue and wonder and it kept me turning the pages again and again. The chara...more
Jul 28, 2010 Nikki-ann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, no matter what their age!
The Blackhope Enigma is an exciting adventure in which Sunni’s step-brother Dean finds himself accidentally transported into a curious Renaissance painting by Fausto Corvo which hangs in the Mariner’s Chamber in Blackhope Tower. Sunni and her friend Blaise set out to rescue him and they find themselves lost in a strange and dangerous world. They meet others along their journey, but just who should they trust? Can all three overcome the dangers and find their way out of the painting and home... a...more
The Blackhope Enigma is about a girl named Sunni, her step-brother Dean, and her friend Blaise getting trapped inside a magical painting, where they encounter dangerous characters and mythical beasts. The three have to find a way out, while managing to stay out of harm's way.

I really liked the build-up of suspense. It kept me guessing at every turn of the page. The description of the events leapt out at you. The book completely drew me in and I loved every second of it. There were quite a few i...more
The Blackhope Enigma tells the story of Dean, Sunni and Blaise - three teenagers who walk a labyrinth at a castle and end up inside a painting. I enjoyed the premise, but found it a little lacking in execution. The entry into the painting is a bit abrupt - we aren't really led into the mystery so much as taken straight there.

Once in the painting, the story moved along well, with mysterious characters who both could and couldn't be trusted. I enjoyed imagining ending up inside a painting and like...more
I found an Advance Readers Copy of this book in a local coffee shop and snatched it up immediately.

If the cover wasn't enough to draw me in (which it was), then the tag line, 'An old castle, a strange painting, and a mysterious labyrinth' most definitely did it for me. Three things that instantly made me want to read it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel despite the fact that it was targeted for a much younger reader! I enjoyed the premise (an entirely different life within, and beneath, one painti...more
Aug 06, 2012 Margaret marked it as hardcopy-review-to-read
Recommended to Margaret by: Candlewick Press
In anticipation of the September release of The Crimson Shard, the second book in the The Blackhope Enigma series, Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press is re-releasing the debut novel in an affordable paperback format. According to what I’ve read, Teresa Flavin is an author turned illustrator and who could weave a more intricate and fascinating visual story than one that lives to put stories to page for other people’s vision.

This chapter book with scattered black and white drawings thro...more
Valerie Heintz
If you like fantasy, this is the book for you. "The Blackhope Enigma" by Teresa Flavin is a book about an adventurous girl and her stepbrother, a shy and artistic boy, a mysterious man, and a wonderland. Sunni, Dean and Blaise found their way into the mysterious painting of Arcadia through a labyrinth located in Blackhope Tower. Along with the kids, a mysterious man named Angus also enters the painting, claiming to help Blaise find Sunni and Dean, but little did they know, he had a secret agend...more
This book is about a boy named Dean accidentally is tranported into a magical painting and looking for a way out.Dean is Sunniva Forrest's stepbrother and she went in the painting after him to get him out.Blaise was supposed to keep a secret about them going into the painting but he felt wrong and deciced to go into the painting to get his crush Sunni.I liked this book because there are so many adventures that I love and how Blaise and Sunni get closer and closer till the end of the book and Bla...more
Kat O'B
I can count on one hand the number of times I have just stopped reading a book. I'm up one more finger, because I read to page 133 of this book and decided to give it up. I have a stack to read and this one is just not worth the time. The concept of the story is great for fantasy and mystery lovers-- kids unintentionally fall into a painting and find themselves in another world, where their lives are in danger. However, the writing itself was dull and slow, and the characters not authentic. I di...more
This was a fun story that became progressively more exciting and interesting the further I read and the more I let myself get drawn into plot--the more I accepted the world, characters, and story for what they were and just went with it. Unfortunately, doing so meant overlooking the fact that it was obvious from the writing that Flavin's background is not in writing. I had as much trouble believing these characters, their motivations, reactions, and dialogue, and basic plot points could possibly...more
Vickie (Under The Mountain)
The last book I read about people dissapearing into magical paintings was Mirrorscape... and that was awful. This, however is a mystical, imaginative take on an old idea. The character's are a little cheesy - Sunni, who has a crush on someone way older than her, her annoying younger brother and the guy that fancies her... you know how it goes.
The layers of the painting, leading to different worlds, was an amazing idea. There's a maze in this, which reminded me strongly of Maze Runner crossed wit...more
jiawei Ong
Instead of going through a wardrobe, it's being sucked in to a magical painting. Afterwards, it's pretty much the same. The adventurers battle various creatures and fight to discover a pathway to return. As an artist, I appreciated the cover for the negative and positive spaces the shadowed crow and feathers created. In additional, I enjoyed reading this novel, because ancient artists were mentioned, and the painting was like the wardrobe in Narnia. It was like a door or portal. Narnia's rival...more
Sunni and Blaise are contemporary kids living in Italy. When they choose the same artist for a school project, they end up watching Sunni's step-brother walk a labyrinth in front of the artist's painting, and... disappear. They find a way to join him in the painting, they tackle mythical beasts, artist's apprentices with the power to "capture" a victim in their paper portrait, pirates and mystery in this fun romp through a Renaissance painting imbued with magical powers.
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I'm a children's book illustrator who branched out into writing art-based fantasy-mystery novels for children and young people. My first illustrated novel, THE BLACKHOPE ENIGMA (Templar Publishing UK, 2010; Candlewick, 2011) was shortlisted for a number of UK children's book awards and was a Junior Library Guild Selection in the USA. The sequel, THE CRIMSON SHARD (Templar UK, 2011 and Candlewick,...more
More about Teresa Flavin...
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“That’s where they found the skeletons. Right where you’re standing.” 2 likes
“The riders, clad in crimson and black, stopped to scan the maze. Blaise shrank into the hedge, but one keen-eyed hunter spied him. He raised his crossbow, took careful aim and fired.” 2 likes
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