Wednesday, November 4, 2015

10 Things I Loved About The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands

Christopher is actually pretty happy with his life. He's the apprentice to an intelligent and kind apothecary, has the opportunity to study and learn many different things, and his best friend is always up for trying to blow something up. Everything is good, that is, except the mysterious and deadly cult that seems to be targeting apothecaries. When everything in Christopher's life turns upside down, he will have to use every lesson Master Blackthorn taught him to solve the mystery and escape the doom that is starting to close in on him and everyone he knows.

You can learn more about Kevin Sands and his books on his website, Facebook, or Twitter!

And now, the 10 things I loved about The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands:

  1. The genre: It's a historical mystery! I love well-written middle grade novels set in the past. And well done mysteries. So, to find them both in an adventurous, crazy, fun book was so wonderful.
  2. The details: Somehow Sands weaves in so much historical detail that the period just oozes through. I felt completely immersed in the world, but it never felt didactic. overdone, and never a single info dump that I can remember.
  3. The sense of time: This is kind of connected to the previous point, but I really appreciated the acknowledgment of how pervasive religious belief was in the 17th century.
  4. Christopher: He seemed so real, not only just as a boy, but also as a boy of the period. It felt authentic. Sometimes authors can tend to assign too many modern sensibilities to children set in a historical period, but Sands does a great job of avoiding this, but still making Christopher completely believable.
  5. The concoctions: I loved all the bits of scientific details and how Christopher uses his knowledge to mix up things to help him get out of (and sometimes into) trouble.
  6. The friendship: I absolutely adored Christopher and Martin's friendship. They were everything best friends should be: similar, yet different - complementing each other's strengths and weaknesses, and loyal.
  7. Martin's sisters: They were adorable and strong and intelligent and I wanted so much more of them!
  8. The twists and turns: What good is a mystery without a ton of crazy twists and turns? The mystery spins you around, revealing things at just the right rate to keep you intrigued but not frustrated.
  9. The secret passage: I love a good secret passage. How much fun would it be to find a secret room in real life? I'll take experiencing it second hand in a good book if I can't experience it for real.
  10. Bridget: Every boy needs a pigeon sidekick. Adored Bridget.
So there you have it! What are you waiting for, go out and grab a copy for yourself!
I received this advance reader copy via BookExpo America

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