Liz B's Reviews > The Black Book of Secrets

The Black Book of Secrets by F.E. Higgins
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's review
Feb 24, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: yakids, alternatehistory
Read from February 22 to 23, 2010

I'm wavering between two and three stars on this one. I'd probably consider a solid it three stars if it weren't a book club choice for my Teachers as Readers group. Since it is--and since my last read for this group was the wonderfulThe Housekeeper and the Professor--my main reaction is "really? How are we supposed to talk about this book for an hour?"

Premise: Ludlow is on the run from his horrible parents in the filthy and dangerous City, and he ends up in a small village under the thumb of a cruel and greedy landlord. He ends up working for a mysterious man who is a pawnbroker of secrets.

It's fine. It's cute. But it's awfully predictable, and doesn't seem to do anything terribly interesting in terms of ideas or themes. The book has multiple narrators--Ludlow himself, a third person narrator, and all of the people who tell their terrible secrets in their own voices. Perhaps this is why I never felt like I got to know Ludlow, or really any of the characters. I'm pretty easy as a reader--I'll forgive bland characterization for a crackling plot, or a predictable or slow storyline if I can fall in love with the characters. This book--well, it wasn't bad. That's the best I can say for it.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by rivka (new)

I'm wavering between two and three stars on this one.

Is that why you gave one edition 2 stars and another 3? ;)

Liz B Heh heh! Let's say yes. :)

Really I was trying to change editions on my review and didn't quite manage it.

message 3: by rivka (new)

rivka I figured. But this was funnier. In fact, I think I'll suggest it the next time someone starts up about half-stars again. ;D

★ EXACTLY my thoughts! (except for the bookclub bit)

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