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I found a copy of The Blackhope Enigma last year and immediately fell in love the cover. To my delight, the story was just as good, leaping through many magical paintings and meeting a whole host of strange characters! In this story, set about a year later, Dean doesn't make an appearance (yey!) but Sunni and Blaise are back and visiting London's many museums. Why, I'm not quite sure. I may have forgotten that detail.
When we meet them, Blaise has persuaded Sunni to visit a painter's house on Phoenix Square, with every room painted to look lifelike but with very little real furniture inside. Their tour guide, Throgmorton, introduces them to each room - and his pretty daughter Livia. Once they reach the top of the house though, Livia lures Blaise through a painted door - and Sunni has no choice but to follow. They find themselves trapped in the 18th century, complete with a room full of orphans, recreating paintings all day.
Sunni and Blaise's relationship definitely develops well throughout the story and you can see the beginnings of a relationship there, which wasn't touched upon as much in the first book. I like the idea of seeing them grow up as well as having adventures, traveling around time and paintings! I'm very glad Dean wasn't in this, as his character wouldn't have worked at all within the story and just have been in the way, more than anything. I would like to see him in the next book though. Assuming there will be one.
I felt that this book was much slower going than the last one, with much less twists and turns. Sunni and Blaise have to plan their way out of Throgmorton's grasp slowly, and it's quite a way through the book that they manage to escape into the streets than the blurb suggests. Still, this is a great story and certainly paves the way for many more interesting adventures!! I think it would have been more fun for them to go through many painted doors into different centuries, rather tan being stuck in just one. I have a feeling that this may be written about in a later book.
Received free from Templar in exchange for an honest review