This book was SO SATISFYING It has humor
history mystery science religion snarky characters potty jokes mystery science religion snarky characters potty jokes it reads like a middle grades version of a Dan Brown novel I gobbled this down like Christopher Rowe gobbled down his icey cream on Oak Apple Day read the book and that will make sense Also Bridget the loyal pigeon is the BEST Definitely one I ll emphatically promote to seventh grade readers This is lined up to be Simon and Schuster s big Middle Grade title for the fall GOOD CHOICE SS Set among the apothecaries and secret alchemists of london in 1665 this secret alchemists of London in 1665 this
Is A Perfect MG Page Turner With a perfect MG page turner with to crack and secret doors to open and vast conspiracies to foil oh my There is high adventure some moving moments and a truly satisfying number of explosions When I do bookstore events I usually hang out in the ids and teens sections trying to match readers with books Tip to other authors this is better than sitting behind a table upfront while people try to avoid eye contact Blackthorn Key will be my new go to for all those who loved Percy Jackson or Artemis Fowl It s that Counting By 7s kind of book and just that good A cracking good middle grade adventure read with loving attention to historical detail including the religious and political aspects that often get left out plenty of mysteries codes and puzzles vivid characters high tragedy and low humour in short a book many readers will love and want to recommend to others and justly so It shows a lot of talent depth and confidence for a debut novel and Kevin Sands seems clearly on his way to a solid careerIf I had one niggle it would be that there isn t much here for girl readers who hope to see characters like themselves since the only females are some cute little girls a sympathetic mother and a pigeon all of whom play a significant role in helping our boy hero but then uickly disappear Still there s a few hints and loose ends that could lead to a seuel and perhaps we ll see of characters like Sally Cecily and Molly in further adventuresFour and a half stars as I can see myself reading this one again to catch all the clues and nuances and perhaps even reading it aloud to my youngest in a year or two Originally posted here at Random Musings of a BibliophileI feel there is a lack of good uality MG historical fiction that is fun and adventurous where the point isn t to teach a history lesson but to just have a story that sweeps you up in its magic and action The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands fills this needChristopher Rowe is an apothecary s apprentice in post Restoration London He works hard but he has aind master who teaches him well and allows him enough free time for adventures that often end in mischief and trouble He can t complain about his life All of that starts to fall apart when a series of murders occur in their small corner of London Murders that seem to be targeting apothecaries When Christopher s master becomes the next victim Christophe See the full review at thoughts and afterthoughts Rating 455 Should this book be picked up the tl dr review Frenetically paced mystery with solvable puzzles providing an interactive reading experience Hist fic world building is rustic has medieval flair and the tone is vividly portrayed given it s time mild fade to blackoff screen gore Characters and relationships ie bromance feel organic However there isn t a strong female presence There is a pigeon named Bridget You will have animalpet feels Story is self contained though part of a series and is courageously resilient full of hilarious tomfoolery and painfully tragic Initial Thoughts It seems like stories with animal sidekicks will without fail garner 4 stars from me NO COMPLAINTS HEREEEEEE Full disclosure I received an advanced reader copy of The Blackthorn Key from the Book Blog Ontario Meet Up I extend thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing me with the opportunity to review this bookview spoilerAfterthoughtsPremiseChristopher Rowe a once orphan now budding apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn is plunged into the gritty underbelly of the alchemical world when a string of murders claim the lives of prominent apothecaries With the perpetrator at large and signs pointing to the Blackthorn shop Christopher finds himself with the Occult America key to uncovering the mystery behind the disturbing deaths and the scheme at the heart of it allSettingLondon 1665 cobblestone roads stone mausoleums imposing cathedrals dusty wooden shelves lined with materialnick Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy knacks and a bird house for the greatest avian sideick ever Sands has crafted an explosive literally alchemical historical fiction with medieval flair and a tone that vividly portrays its time The story doesn t inundate readers considering target audience with religious diatribes that detract from the cat and mouse narrative NarrationI ll admit I don t usually do hist fic because the past is blergh interpret that how you Een historisch jeugdboek vol spannende puzzels ingewikkelde codes en een vleugje magie De sleutel van SleedoornKrachtige brouwsels en een mysterieuze sekteLonden 1665 De 14 jarige Christopher is in de leer bij meester apotheker Sleedoorn die hem leert codes te ontcijferen puzzels op te lossen en met simpele ingrediënten rachtige brouwsels te maken. ,
Nks s unflattering hairstyleYep there s even a secret bookcase door Often eys in this book are the chemical ind that would make Professor secret bookcase door Often eys in this book are the chemical Innumeracy kind that would make Professor RIP proudI thought that for a MG book this was actually pretty well thought out While it can be a bit dry in parts the characters themselves are pretty clever and inventive It goes to show that books aimed atids don t have to be full of forced snark la Nickelodeon or Disney Channel seriously what happened to the programming there to be interestingTigger Warningsview spoilerThere s violence in this book There s some bloody carnage and even child abuse Also there s lots of talk of religion hide spoiler It is never the tool that decides It s the hands and the heart of the one who wields it As
Always My Reviews Aremy reviews are off of my true and honest opinion and I do my best to A Scream Goes Through the House keep all reviews spoiler free Christopher Rowe is an apprentice to the apothecary Benedict Blackthorn He s learning not only how to create recipes but how to make and decipher codes However before henows it Christopher Rowes life comes crashing down and now its in danger as well Together Christopher and his good and loyal friend Tom must figure out a secret worth illing forI absolutely loved this book It was almost impossible to put down It reminded me a lot of National Treasure with its codes and puzzles not to mention being chased and by both the good and bad guys Parts of it made me cry and feel for Christopher It also reminded me of adventurehidden objects games that I enjoy playing from time to time because Christopher needs to use his nowledge of codes and puzzles plus be resourceful with the items he has on andor around him I fell in love with the characters and the plot It was easy to follow and immerse myself in This book is a first to a series and without a cliffhanger and most things wrapped up I m not sure what to expect in the next book which leaves any number of wonderful possibilities 425 starsI thought this was fantasy but it s actually a historical fiction adventureIt was a lot of fun for me It features 14 year old Christopher is an apprentice apothecary in 1665 He gets caught up the schemes of some really loathsome villains He follows clues and solves puzzles set up by his master while escaping the villains a bit like Goonies I really enjoyed how Christopher uses chemistry and logic to defeat the bad guys The book is clever fast paced and full of adventure and explosionsPerfect for late MGearly YA readers but enjoyable to everyoneClean language No sexual content Moderate amount of violence This is a fantastic fast paced historical mystery and I honestly did not want to put it down Aimed at middle graders but definitely one that any reader could enjoy The Blackthorn Key is the complete package mysterious puzzles and codes thrilling and suspenseful action history and science and exceptional friendships Set in 1665 in the city of London this book introduces us to Christopher Rowe our clever hero who is apprenticed as an apothecary to Master Benedict Blackthorn Having rescued Christopher from an unknown future in the orphanage Master Benedict acts as a compassionate father and mentor to this boy who is eager to learn everything he can about potions puzzles and books The baker s son Tom makes a wonderful friend and sidekick being constantly dragged into Christopher s little schemes and experiments These two make a great pair and I really enjoyed every minute of their adventures with one another When a menacing cult begins to systematically murder the city s apothecaries Christopher is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery before he finds himself the next victim He must use all of the Zami knowledge he s gleaned from his master along with plenty of courage and ingenuity to solve the biggest mystery of all and escape imminent danger There are bad guys galore and Christopher must learn who he can truly trust I must say there is a lot of page turning action in this book The Blackthorn Key gives us a snapshot of a piece of history that is uite informative but not at all mundane or too mystifying for the middle grade reader The potions and puzzles should interest anyone that enjoys science or magic However one bit of warning from this reader there is a fair amount of violence and danger in this book that could be disconcerting to a younger middle school child Some gruesome descriptions of the murders and other brutal assaults may be okay for the mature middle grader but I hesitate to recommend this to the complete gamut of grades 3 7 readers as noted on the back of the book But as always parents use caution younow what your children can handle This is definitely a book worth reading and has huge potential for this debut author I would love to see a seuel to this book I think Kevin Sands left just enough open at the conclusion for this to be a possibility at least I hope so 45 stars. Met zijn beste vriend Tom moet Christopher het raadsel zien te ontcijferen Kevin SandsDe sleutel van Sleedoorn is een razend spannend verhaal vol vriendschap humor mysterie en gevaar De auteur Kevin Sands werkt als natuurkundig onderzoeker en docent aan de universiteit van Toronto De sleutel van Sleedoorn is zijn debuut en wordt in 13 talen vertaal.
READ Ú WRITING-SAMPLES.CO.UK È Kevin SandsIll The Blackthorn Key I found was packed with intrigue and credit goes to the story the adventurous and impeccable pacing and the penmanship to weave a page turning experience This book elicits a range of feels it s courageously resilient full of hilarious tomfoolery and painfully tragicThe story made me cry If that s not a powerful thingthen I don t Vertical Mind know what isThe coolest thing is that readers can for the most part unlock the puzzles before going forward as if it were an interactive experience The narrative provides the codes andinks to uncover the mystery before you turn the page it s not a gimmick the exposition "it s not a gimmick The exposition you into
The Eyes Worldeyes and world Christopher Rowe and connects readers to the conflict in a smart wayThat being said the writing may not be for the faint of heartWhat I will say in terms of gore is this as a Gentleman Jack kid I was immersed in a lot of violence through videogames and multimedia Am I suggesting that this book will be fine for all MGids Not at all This book has bleak as shit moments but you don t witness the brutality It s like a fade to black This is just a discretionary warning to those incapable of stomaching the high stakes game of survival It is in the context of its time and not as censored as things seem to be based on its intended audienceCharactersChristopher Rowe is simply precious and I adored his voice He s emotionally invested to a life that has given him than just borrowed time There is so much to root for as the story promotes the cultivation of adolescent experimentation and ingenuity Christopher isn t a special snowflake he s not the only one who could have unlocked the mystery The puzzles are his to crack because he s the product of initiative and work ethic and his development is one eenly demonstrated by action Subtext learning is important but you should also blow things up in the processThe bromance is sublime Christopher and Tom are like two peas in a pod Their friendship can easily be mistaken as blood related due to loyalty and it s wholly organic I d call Tom a comic relief but that would short sell his importance to ChristopherBridget is one badass scene stealer This pigeon deserves all the love and then some If you appreciate the value of Manchee for Todd s character in the Chaos Walking Trilogy Patrick Ness you will surely love every feather of this flappy birdIf there s one thing that can be considered amiss it s that there s no real female presence Aside from Tom s siblings and his mother the only female with potential of a role is an orphan girl with a line or two The implication is that this can be considered a book about boys for boys It s so much than thatOverallThis book punched me in the face with feels And then did it again and again While this first installment is a self contained story it s seuel explores the Great Plague of London in 1665 You don t need to worry about cliffhangers So yeah if there s one middle grade title you should considering reading in 2015 it s Kevin Sands The Blackthorn Key If not because I told you to then for the explosionsor the bromanceor the interactive mysteryor most importantly for Bridget a damn pigeonSee the full review at thoughts and afterthoughts hide spoiler Video Review Brilliant Utterly brilliant I won an advanced reader s copy book from a GR giveaway and I am so happy I did This book is set to release on September 3rd 2015 which is when you should buy and read it To be blunt it s amazing and uite honestly one of my new favorite middle grades London 1665 A world of wigged gentlemen drunkard peasants and orphaned children Christopher Rowe is an orphan at Cripplegate Orphanage when he impresses an elite member of the apothecaries guild and is then taken in as an apprentice to Master Apothecary Benedict Blackthorn Christopher learns all inds of remedies potions and lethal poisons in his master s care skills that will save his life than a few times Whispers of murder are spreading through the streets and London s apothecaries seem to be The Cult of The Archangel s target Christopher is set on a perilous journey involving conspiracies codes secret alchemists puzzles and pigeons Who doesn t like pigeons Kevin Sands writing is superb This book is written in 1st person which to me can sometimes sound amateur if not done right but Sands does it right The mix of real history and events is blended well and eeps it interesting however I m very surprised there was no mention of the plague that hit London in 1665 That sort of feels like a missed opportunity but nevertheless the history that was given was welcome Edit The plague is mentioned by the end of the book I completely recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about apothecaries alchemists potions poisons and anyone else who likes middle grade I look forward to see what Kevin Sands publishes in the future The Da Vinci Code meets The Apothecary minus Tom Ha. Hij heeft nog een boel te leren als de stad wordt opgeschrikt door een serie moorden Christopher ontdekt dat een mysterieuze sekte het niet alleen op zijn meester heeft voorzien maar een gevaar vormt voor de hele mensheid Als Sleedoorn wordt aangevallen heeft hij nog net genoeg tijd om Christopher op pad te sturen met een cryptische boodschap Samen. ,