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The Riddles of Epsilon

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  1,525 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
Something dark has awoken on the remote island of Lume

Jess is not pleased when her parents drag her off to live on the weird little island of Lume. But then she encounters an eerie presence in an abandoned cottage, and her anger turns to fear when it begins to lead her through a series of creepy riddles. As she slowly unravels the mysteries of Lume, she finds the writings
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published April 26th 2005)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for

When she gets into some trouble at school, Jess's parents think they have the perfect solution: they'll move to Lume, an island in the middle of nowhere. She thinks there is absolutely nothing interesting about Lume--until she discovers a derelict old cottage. There's something creepy about the cottage--some sort of presence that Jess can't describe. It turns even weirder and scarier when that same presence shows up in her instant message conversati
Aug 14, 2011 Kristy rated it liked it
I'm suprised this isn't more popular.....

It's one of those books where you pretty much know how it's going to end, yet you have clue what twists and turns you're going to have to take to get you there.

The nitty-gritty: (slight spoiler's up ahead)
Jess has moved to the island of Lume with her parents, it is boring and small and just old. She is bored. She goes out walking and finds a cottage, it is so run down she has to force her way into it. She feels a strange yet comforting spirit inside. She
Apr 04, 2008 Severa rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2014 Emma rated it liked it
I checked this out from the library on a whim - I liked the blurb and it seemed interesting. Turns out it was a pretty good choice. At first, I was slightly put off by the narrator, Jess', attitude. And then I remembered what I was like at 14. Bratty, bitchy and generally grumpy. Her characterization was spot on, for a 14-year-old girl to act any differently after her parents forced her to move to a remote island would seem unrealistic and totally disingenuous. Jess is an interesting protagonist ...more
Oct 03, 2007 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin2007
I was surprised by how suspenseful this was - it was full of creepiness, like leave the lights on, look over your shoulder eerie. I thought the story was pretty good, and the code the protagonist, Jessica, had to decipher was a nice touch, but the climax felt a little too easy, and the last couple chapters following it seemed unnecessary. The epilogue felt a bit tacked on, like the author had some new idea and just had to add it in whether it made sense or not. The same riddles and clues were re ...more
Nov 19, 2008 Byowlpost rated it it was amazing
It's a very philosophical kind of book, but not in a boring way. It Delves into the corners of your mind and sends chills up your spine. You can close your eyes and wind up in the middle of nowhere. Definitely mysterious and awesome!!
Jul 12, 2011 Sam rated it really liked it
Shelves: adolescent
The Riddles of Epsilon was very times even a little spooky. I enjoyed reading it a great deal and i have to admit that even I couldn't figure out the riddle untill the very end. Good luck :)
Oct 09, 2014 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A.W.E.S.O.M.E. I couldn't put this book down after I started reading it . There are some twists in this book that are unexpectable. The epilogue was totally weird but yet brilliant. FANTASTIC!
Sep 01, 2016 Alyssa rated it really liked it
I really loved this book and read it in a day. It is exciting, suspensful, and scary. Lots of mysteries to figure out along the way.
Jun 05, 2008 Anne rated it it was amazing
This book is so good. When I first read it, I was just floored. There were so many little twists that I wasn't expecting. Excellent!
Oct 19, 2013 Isabel rated it it was amazing

WOW. Did not disappoint.

So yeah, that's not really a big sparkly opening. But it's true. I got this from a book sale at the library and sometimes those used library books can be kind of . . . disappointing. Y'know? Well, this one was not. I still have a stack from the library left, but this was a great starter.

At first, you learn that Jess (hey, that's the name of the main character from the book I read before this!) is fourteen. Now, I haven't read a lot
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
The Riddles of Epsilon is the somewhat strange tale of a teenage girl called Jess, who, having been expelled from her school for being caught smoking and drinking in the gym, has been moved to a small island called 'Lume' (no idea where this place is supposed to be), to live in a large house that her mother has inherited.

Jess is a bit of a rebel, and has not only recently been expelled, but has also had her nose pierced which her parents disapprove of. Her mother is a portrait artist, and her fa
Michal Sagal
Dec 30, 2014 Michal Sagal rated it really liked it
I don't usually go in for stories that make me jump at small noises and want to turn on all the lights in the house, but despite that unexpected side effect, this book was pretty fantastic. Fourteen-year-old Jessica White is dragged out to an old house her mother inherited on an island called Lume. Bored out of her mind, she goes poking around in the house and the grounds, and meets a supernatural being called Epsilon. As he gives her various puzzles and cryptic hints to solve them, her mother b ...more
Nov 15, 2014 Zoe rated it it was amazing
I began this particular book with more than a dash of trepidation. It was the last on the shelf at the school book sale, so I took that as a 'sign' that I should give the book a try. Let me say that I devoured the book in an afternoon and an all nighter. I couldn't put it down; suspense, mystery, suspense again. It's such a unique story with unique plot twists and pizazz that not many ya books have. I have read a TON of ya books from all over the ya spectrum, but Epsilon has always stuck out to ...more
Yaly Arce
Jun 29, 2013 Yaly Arce rated it it was amazing
Awesome. Totally and unbelievably awesome. There were things that I learned that were pretty interesting. Then there were things that were both expected and unexpected. I totally loved the story. I've been insane for a few things doing this and that so it's been a bit of time that I haven't picked up the book, but when I had a chance to continue I just couldn't put it down. The clues, the riddles, the excitement and the's like you're watching a movie in your head. Some things are so ...more
Apr 13, 2009 Jackie rated it it was ok
This book's premise is pretty ridiculous, but it was well-written enough to keep me reading. I guess I thought it would get better. Though I enjoyed the writing and the clues about discovering what was going on, the plot line of the dark beings and light beings and swans flying everywhere was just stupid. I can't recommend this book to anyone. Don't start it so you won't get sucked in like I did.
Grace Blake
Jan 24, 2016 Grace Blake rated it it was amazing
The writing is nothing special. It's very simple. But the story itself is outstanding. Everything fits in a perfect jigsaw and it impresses more every time I read it. Very interesting and keeps you guessing right up to the last page.
Jan 21, 2011 Christina rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one night. I just couldn't put it down.
Nov 29, 2016 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Khushi Gupta
Dec 04, 2016 Khushi Gupta rated it it was amazing
very clever book..couldnt think of anything else
Tabinda Khan
Nov 01, 2016 Tabinda Khan rated it really liked it
it's an amazing book with a lot of suspense and mystery just loved it and enjoyed reading it
Lynette Herr
Nov 19, 2010 Lynette Herr rated it it was amazing
The Riddles of Epsilon by Christine Morton-Shaw is about a girl named Jess. Her family has moved to an island called Lume. To her, it seems boring and dead. But when she discovers a cottage near the beach, she starts to wonder. In the cottage, she finds antique items that were, in her mind, as old as the world. She wanders around the house and discovers letters that belonged to a boy named Sebastian. Through the days that she’s reading them, a man or ghost-like being appears called Epsilon. Soon ...more
YA Book Recommendations
Jul 11, 2014 YA Book Recommendations rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
My reaction in one gif:

Full review:
I was pretty pumped to read this book when I got it from the library. I expected an exciting mystery and creepiness and just a really entertaining read.

I didn’t get any of it.

The book is told through Jessica’s diary and some IM messages. I think the set-up was a big part of the problem. Or maybe Morton-Shaw hasn’t quite mastered writing a novel yet. The descriptions are bland, with Jessica writing things like “I’m scared” without allowing the situation to spea
Sep 18, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Read this because my daughter had to read it in school so that we could talk about it - and wow! It kept me wanting to turn the page and continue reading! Great book, suspenseful and you never quite know where it's going to go!
Dec 21, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
I read this book about 5 years ago and I loved it to bits. Now, being a little older, the flaws were a bit more obvious.

First and foremost was the writing style. It is written like a diary, which gives it a little freedom in the perfect grammar and focal point departments, but Jess, the main character, started out sounding a bit too much like your average, stereotypical, sulky, "can't stand my parents" teen; like the author was trying too hard. The impression faded about halfway through the boo
Sep 11, 2016 Kassia rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most special books I have ever been lucky enough to read. A random pick off the new books shelf when I was much, much younger, I devoured this book in a single evening, and have re-read it at least once per year for the entire past decade.

To find such a magical, underrated gem is rare in a world of popular, trendy books. This book encapsulates everything I loved as a child, and everything I love as an adult: a strong female character, an engaging and magical mystery, a rich t
Trina Bunner
Oct 14, 2010 Trina Bunner rated it it was amazing
The book "The Riddles of Epsilon" is a mind boggling and sometimes even tear jurking experieance. This book was amazing and I dont think you should pass up this great book. This book is about a girl named jess who moved Lume an island next to England. She has to move there because her parents thought she needed it. She is getting really bored because there is nothing to do there. So she goes exploring around and then she finds a cottage behind her house that is hidden and her parents didnt even ...more
Jul 07, 2011 Christy rated it it was amazing
i loved it so much! I first read it the summer between 8th grade and 9th grade when i was the age of Jess. I loved it soo much then. the story kept me reading for i wanted to find the next clue just as jess did. i wanted to know the answer to all the riddles! i wanted to know who epsilon was and such so i was always on the edge of my seat reading. soo i decided to reread it when it had been long enough for me to forget all the twists and turns of the story so i could experience them again. i fou ...more
May 23, 2010 Jamie rated it really liked it
This book is a very interesting mystery/thriller that will keep you guessing throughout the novel. It is about a girl named Jess who moves to the Island of Lume in which she lives in a big house with a cottage behind it. Then as she is talking to her friend Avril on a IM a mysterious person named Epsilon shows up in the chat in which he guides her with riddles to stop her moms death. The novel keeps twisting and turning as you find out what is the epsilon bucket, who is sebastian wren, what hidd ...more
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I'm a writer of children's picture books and two novels. You can find out more about my first YA novel, THE RIDDLES OF EPSILON at, while
Other details of my books can be found if you type in my name to google. As for me, I'm generally considered a bit spooky, a bit mad or both. Maybe I am...

My new novel The Hunt for the Seventh comes out of September 30th 2008!


More about Christine Morton-Shaw...

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“There are many wonders in this world that will remain quite beyond your reach unless, in fact, you reach for them.” 12 likes
“What the tide takes away, the tide brings back.” 5 likes
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