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 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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Serena said...

That cover creeps me out for some reason!

Ali said...

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

Becky said...

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

Veggiemomof2 said...

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

sally apokedak said...

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


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 said...

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