Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Christine Morton-Shaw

The Riddles of Epsilon
by Christine Morton-Shaw
Recommended Age: 12+

If your favorite subject at Hogwarts would be Ancient Runes, here is a book you will love. Any Harry Potter fan will enjoy it, in fact. It is an adventure full of puzzles, clues, and dangers, shared by two children living a century apart. In some mind-boggling, reality-bending way, their diaries reach each other across time as tragic Victorian-era Sebastian and troubled modern-day Jess struggle with the mystery and menace that threatens them both.

The two children live(d) in the same house on the small island of Lume. They even sleep (or slept) in the same wooden bed carved with swans. They are (were) both increasingly concerned about their mothers, who seem to be going mad. And they are both visited by a frightening apparition who calls himself Epsilon, and who urges them to solve the puzzle before it’s too late.

Like Sebastian a hundred years earlier, Jess is not sure whether she should trust Epsilon. Her adventure brings her up against a sinister, secret society on the island, a society going back to the time of myth, a group of fiends searching for something that only an innocent can find — an object of terrible power. Jess must find it to save her mother from a dreadful fate. But her search is filled with nagging questions, both for Jess and for the reader: Which side is Epsilon on? And even if Jess has the courage to face the dangers ahead, will she have the wisdom to choose whom to trust?

Fans of Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising, especially, should jump on this book by a first-time author whose brief biography indicates her interest in ancient clues, diaries, codes, and runes, interests brought to life in this book. The author bio also describes a recurring childhood dream that is as chilling and interesting as anything in the book!

Parents concerned about occult content should be advised the story involves a type of primitive myth and magic.

No comments: