Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Greystone Secrets #2: The Deceivers by Margaret Peterson Haddix


My name is Natalie, and Emma figured out a way to get us back to the alternate world to save her mother. She guessed we could use the lever again even though the old portal was gone, and she was right. However, we didn't know what to do once we arrived in the basement of my house in the alternate world. I came face-to-face with my Other-Mother, the Judge in charge of the trial for Emma's mother, but I was able to trick her into thinking I was home sick from school. I'm not sure what I'll do if the Other-Natalie actually shows up. We tried doing an internet search for Emma's mom, but nothing came up. That's impossible. Her trial was all over the news just a couple weeks ago. We've secretly spied on many people in this house, and we now know one of them is an ally. The question is, which one?

You must read Greystone Secrets #1 before reading this book. The plot gets a bit confusing, as there are duplicate forms of a few main characters. Even the characters themselves must be reminded of the identities of people with whom they are speaking. While each of the four kids perform their roles in the plot, Natalie comes to the forefront this time. Since much of the story takes place in the alternate-world version of her house, several family members are included, although the family dynamics are quite different. Secrets abound in the household. The overall theme in this world is distrust, with a couple of characters dreaming of a time when they might be able to assume other people spoke the truth. The emotions of family love and friendship are strong in the main characters, as they strive to save their parents. The uncertainty of characters' identities and motivations create tension and complicate the children's plans. Overall, like in the first book, I still felt the plot moved too slowly for me. The kids kept trying to move on but made little progress. It felt like they kept spinning their wheels. My post for the first book said I didn't intend to read the sequel, but I obviously did. Perhaps I'll be reading the third book in the series, The Messengers, sometime soon. 

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