Monday, July 23, 2018

Ulysses Moore #1: The Door to Time by Pierdomenico Baccalario

The Door to Time (Ulysses Moore, #1)My name is Jason, and my twin sister and I just moved to Argo Manor. Julia is more athletic than me, but I'm more adventurous. I discovered a hidden parchment with ancient writing, and it's kicked off a mystery surrounding our new home. Rick, a boy I met in school, has joined us and has added knowledge of local stories. The previous homeowner, Ulysses Moore was an eccentric man, and we're sure the messages we've found were written by him. I feel there must be a huge grotto under the manor, but Julia won't believe it until she sees it. I found a secret door behind an armoire, and now we have four strange keys left by Ulysses. I'm sure there must be a secret passage behind the door, and then our adventure will truly begin. The only limit is our imagination. 

Most of this book read like a mystery, as the kids tried to figure out clues left around the property. The fantasy genre didn't kick in until the story neared the end, so the rest of the series should be more fantastic. The three kids made an interesting team due to their different talents. Jason was the adventuring risk-taker, Rick was intelligent with knowledge of local history, and Julia was supportive of her brother, although they maintained some playful banter throughout the plot. The only suspense in the plot came from the pursuit of solving the clues, so I didn't feel emotionally invested. Nothing opposed the children's efforts beyond their own mental and physical abilities. I didn't understand why a female character made a cameo appearance early in the story, since she wasn't much of a factor. She wanted to gain possession of the manor, but her interest and efforts had no effect on the events. I'm guessing she'll become more important in the future, but I didn't think she was needed in this book. Overall, The Door to Time was a nice blend of adventure and mystery and should appeal to most upper elementary readers. 

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