Author: Holly Black
Genre: Middle Grade Mystery
Length: 244 Pages
Release: May 2013
"Protecting somebody by hurting them before someone else gets the chance isn't the kind of protecting that anybody wants."
I don't know what to call this book. It's middlegrade, but what genre does it fit? Fantasy? Horror? Mystery? Suspense? There doesn't seem to be a good label to put with this.
This story captured my attention with it's eerie synopsis and it kept my attention as I listened to the tale of Zach, Alice, and Poppy. It's well written and has a fun, sometimes creepy story. All three children are also extremely imaginative, which I love. It was great how there was kind of a story inside of a story feel to this, since their game involved queens, pirates, and thieves who were adventuring aboard a ship searching for answers.
The three kids seemed like real twelve-year-olds. They fought about silly things, but they also worried about important ones. They were scared of growing up and leaving behind the worlds their imaginations created, of growing apart and never being able to have that back. Because you never know what growing up might do.
All of the descriptions of the queen were creepy and I loved it. The ending was satisfactory. I will definitely be recommending this to my nieces and nephews and hope to turn them into fans alongside me.
Nick Podehl narrated the audiobook and I thought it was done really well. Sometimes men doing voices for girls can sound odd, but overall his weren't that annoying. It also wasn't made to sound too childlike, which can sometimes be a drawback in middlegrade audiobooks. Definitely recommend the story and the audio for this one.