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Review of Secret Seekers: Beast Of Bladenboro by J.L. Hickey

by - March 30, 2014

Publisher: Self Published
Release Date:
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery
Pages: 174
Format: eBook

Secret Seekers Society and the Beast of Bladenboro follows the young protagonists Hunter Glenn, and Elly Ann through an adventure ripe with adversity, paranormal monsters, secret societies, and most haunting of all, a life without their parents.
The book follows both the sibling’s emotional struggle from their parent’s sudden loss, as well as their physical journey into a new and strange “home”, an ancient and creepy mansion known only as the Belmonte Estate.
It is here where they first learn of their new guardian, an eccentric old man named Professor Clandestine and the rest of the mansion's caretakers. Tossed into their bedroom, and locked away under the pretense of “safety concerns” it does not take long for the children to hatch an escape plan. Follow the children as they slowly unravel the secrets of their parent’s true identities, the origin of the strange Mansion, and their inheritance into an ancient secret society of monster hunters known as Seekers. 

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Hunter and Elly have just lost their parents, and are shipped off to live with the Godfather they've never met before, Professor Calenstine. Upon arrival to his dark and pretty creepy mansion, Belmonte Estate, they are greeted warmly by Margot, who also lives in the mansion and promptly locked into their new bedroom, for reasons unknown. Suspecting something is wrong, Hunter sneaks out to discover the mansion's secrets... and gets more than he bargained for!

This story is told in the third person, so we get a glimpse of life through nearly every character, however Hunter and Elly are the two main characters. They argue just like any other siblings do but forgive each other quickly because they only have each other. Hunter is very impulsive, whereas Elly is quieter and content to sit and read for hours on end. I have both these traits so I identified with both of them!

The mansion's mysteries were quite unique and I enjoyed reading about them. The book took a lot of twists and turns that I wasn't expecting, which was fun. I loved Trayer, the giant adorable puppy and Plato, the giant robot the most. I'm hoping we read more about them in future books. There was plenty of action, danger and suspense to keep me reading chapter after chapter too.

I did have a particular problem with this book and that was audience. With the characters being so young, and after referred to as the children, one would marked this as a middle grade, not a young adult novel. However, the language used is more advanced than middle grade, plus it's a long book. On top of that there's a few counts of swearing too. So it's not quite middle grade but somehow reads a bit too young for Young Adult. I'm just not sure.

The Beast of Bladenboro was a really fun, enjoyable read. I will very likely be reviewing the next book in the series soon, so look out for that!


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