When I saw this book (a jacket-less but still brand new copy that was very very very cheap), I didn't hesitate to buy this. I just can't resist buying books, I always have to have books, and since I heard good reviews about this, I decided to read it.
However, it took me a long time to like this book. 480+ pages of this, and all the while I thought, Couldn't this book be trimmed down?
. So many descriptive narrations, the simplistic writing, all were designed to be enjoyed by a bookworm child. Maybe. I don't exactly remember what I would have enjoyed and loved when I was 12 years old. But I read this in my adulthood, and I couldn't get past how long winded some chapters were. I've read many children's books this year (How to Eat Fried Worms, Holes, Hoot,
among them), but these were short, and very enjoyable, despite their target audience being children.
But still, there were enjoyable parts, like when the 4 of the main characters met each other, while taking Mr Benedict's curious entrance test, and when they were trying to figure out Mr Curtain's (the villain of the story) secret. The conflict in this book was far-fetched, but, hey, it's a children's book. Children love adventure. This book has it.
The last few chapters were the redeeming quality for me. I just like my stories to end well, if not exactly happily. Not to say that this book has a sad ending. The 'final battle', as I like to call it, was entertaining, and neatly resolved. I uttered an oh.my.god. when i found out Milligan was actually Kate's missing father. Nice twist!
So yeah, I give this books 3.5 stars, because I'm judging it as a children's book, and in that, it succeeds
. But I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted. :(