Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Secret KeepersMy name is Reuben, and I spend my days hiding from everyone. The shopkeepers and police fear the dangerous Directions, who work for the Counselor, who fears the mysterious man known as The Smoke. Let me ask you a question. How much would a round watch with no minute hand be worth to you? Not interested? What if it could make you invisible? Ah, now I have your attention! I've found such a watch, but The Smoke now has his crews and henchmen searching every corner of the city, looking for me. I follow an inscription on the watch to a lighthouse where a family of guardians shares the secret they've been keeping for generations. I then realize The Smoke will kill my mother and me whether we give him the watch or not. 

I received a digital copy of the book from Net Galley, and it turned out to be a page-turner for me. I found myself sucked into the conflict, as the author described Reuben's uncertainty and love for his mother. The Directions were a problem, the watch became a mystery, and The Smoke became a life-threatening danger. Penny and Jack became key allies. Jack's character was in stark contrast to his strictly honest family, as Penny could never tell a lie. There were limits to Jack's dishonesty, and his motivations were honorable. The Smoke's mansion was full of trap doors and other obstacles, so this setting complicated the events. The build-up to the climax epitomized the notion that the best-laid plans can easily go wrong. Remember, don't count your chickens before they hatch. Net Galley is known for nurturing new authors, and Trenton Lee Stewart looks like a winner.

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