Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Black Book of Secrets


Higgins, F.E. 2007. The Black Book of Secrets. Feiwel and Friends. 273 pages.

When I opened my eyes I knew that nothing in my miserable life prior to that moment could possibly be as bad as what was about to happen.

And our narrator, Ludlow Fitch*, wasn't lying. What his parents had planned for him? So not good! Just thinking about it makes my jaws ache! Fortunately for both of us, he is able to make a daring dash of an escape. After a rather close call, Ludlow finds himself escaping the City and going away...where...he doesn't know. But anyplace has to be better than where he's been, right? Where Ludlow ends up is in the company of Joe Zabbidou** in his pawn shop of secrets. Both Joe and Ludlow are new to the village of Pagus Parvus. And their destinies are tied together now. Ludlow becomes an apprentice of sort. It's a good thing Ludlow knows how to read and write and has such good penmanship! For Joe has a very special job in mind for the boy. Pagus Parvus is an interesting little place with plenty of interesting people. It's a town full of secrets. And that's just what Joe is in the market for. Good and juicy secrets. You unburden your soul, tell Old Joe all while Ludlow records it all in his black book, and in exchange....you leave with a nice sum of money. Enough money to make a difference. But can old Joe be trusted? What does he want with all those secrets? What is he hoping to gain out of the exchange? Was Ludlow right to trust him?

This one is just deliciously atmospheric. I loved everything about it: the setting, the characterizations, the language. (Especially the names.) I can only imagine this one would be fun to hear aloud.

*Don't you just love that name?
**Again, an awesome, awesome name!


© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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6 comments:

Serena 12:06 PM  

That cover creeps me out for some reason!

Ali 11:00 PM  

Funny, I was thinking the cover looks like it'd appeal to my boys! LOL

Becky 11:02 PM  

Actually, this cover is the British one. I didn't like this cover or the American one. But the book itself I loved. :)

Veggiemomof2 11:35 AM  

I added this on my TO BE READ list! Sounds good!

sally apokedak 12:24 PM  

Here's the problem, Becky. You're costing me money.

Gee.

I've never heard of this book and I could have lived without hearing about it, just fine. Now I have to buy the silly thing! It sounds too good to pass up.

Debi 6:24 AM  

Oh, oh, oh...this one sounds fabulous! A must buy? Afraid so.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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