Bonnie's Reviews > Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, & a Very Strange Adventure

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans
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Apr 18, 12

bookshelves: arcs, childrens-and-ya, read-in-2012
Read from March 17 to April 09, 2012

I was immediately taken in by the cover of Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms, as well as the title--I can't resist alliteration.

For classes which require kids to read a mystery, this would be a great option. The characters in Horten's world are interesting (and often quite strange). Kids will wish that they had a scavenger hunt of their own. Even parents will enjoy reading along with their children.

Fans of the The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket will love this; some of the language (such as the definitions given by Stuart's father) are very reminiscent of Snicket's writing style.

Why I didn't give this a 5: I would perhaps give this 4.5 stars, but that wasn't an option and I hesitate to round up to 5 stars because I was not blown away by the story. I wish that the puzzles would have allowed for more audience participation--I was expecting to be able to work on puzzles as I went through the book, solving them alongside the protagonist, but the format of these puzzles made that impossible. (Or at least, very very, very unlikely, unless you are an expert at anagrams.) I understand that there will be at least one sequel to this book; I hope that any puzzles presented in the sequel would allow kids to be involved rather than just follow along.

I received this book as an ARC from my employer.
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Reading Progress

03/17/2012 page 16
6.0% "I have another book or two to read before I actually get into this one, but I read the first chapter last night and it was so engaging. The style seriously reminds me of Lemony Snicket, but it seems a lot more lighthearted. Very excited to read!"
04/07/2012 page 56
21.0% "Figured I should read this now, since it was released this week and I've been putting it off. It's really interesting (and fairly fast-paced) so far."
04/08/2012 page 143
53.0% "I really am enjoying this book! I expected it to be more self-discovery (in terms of the mystery/puzzles elements), but so far none of the puzzles could have been solved by the reader. Part of me wishes there were more mid-chapter illustrations to, well, illustrate the things Stuart encounters."

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