Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

Read from June 16th - 21st, 2015.

(Source:  I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Serafina lives in the basement of the Biltmore Estate with her father.  Though she's the C.R.C., an important job, according to Serafina's father, no one else in the manor even knows she exists.  She can move throughout the manor without being noticed, and she is usually content to watch the residents without being discovered.  Lately, however, she has wondered what it would be like to have someone besides her father to talk to for a change.

One night, while carrying out her C.R.C duties, she witnesses something disturbing.  A man in a black cloak chases a little girl down to the basement.  After he captures her, she disappears into the cloak.  Serafina manages to escape, but her father doesn't believe her tale.  As more children start to disappear, she decides she must do something to help, even if she has to finally reveal herself to the inhabitants of Biltmore Estate.

Serafina and the Black Cloak is an intriguing and eerie story.  Though marketed as a children's book, I think this would probably be better for older middle-grade readers.  However, it would depend on the individual child.  There are some dark and intense moments which might be too much for some younger readers.

Serafina and the Black Cloak is remarkably written, the characters are interesting, the plot is original, and the setting is delightfully ominous.

I would recommend this for middle-grade readers who enjoy well-written stories with just a touch of supernatural mystery.

Rating (out of five stars):

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