Saturday, June 21, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: Key to Kashdune

Key to Kashdune by Claudia White, June 10, 2014. pages 224. Published by MP Publisher. Source: author.
Key to Kashdune picks up the year after Aesop’s Secret ends. An earthquake in the exotic countryside of Turkey has uncovered an ancient cave full of relics of the shape-shifting Athenite people, and two present-day Athenites, Dr. Harmony Melpot and her uncle Joe Wiltshire (previously Aesop the rabbit), are eager to discover its secrets. When they meet with disaster in the form of another frightening earthquake, Melinda convinces her family to go to her friend Joe’s rescue. In the process she discovers four mysterious journals that reveal the secret to traveling by the Earth’s music. Captivated by the melodies she hears, Melinda flies off as a kestrel to the fabled island of Kashdune, rumored to be a place where Athenites and humans live together in peace. Unfortunately, the Huttons’ old nemesis Professor Horace Stumpworthy has learned of the utopian island, and he attempts to use the ancient Athenite knowledge there to exact his revenge upon the Hutton family. The Huttons, Harmony, and Joe set off after Melinda, parting a veil of magical mist that hides Kashdune from the outside world. Jake is separated from the rest of the group, but the others successfully make their way to the hidden island.

First Sentence:
The torch beam searched the walls of the dark and humid cavern.

To say I have been eagerly awaiting the chance to read Key to Kashdune by Claudia White would be an understatement. I have enjoyed her storytelling, the world, and characters so much in the two books of hers that I have read. The second book following the adventures of the Hutton family was quite fun and reminded me why I enjoyed reading about them in Aesop's Secret.

Even though I really, really enjoyed  Aesop's Secret, Key to Kashdune was even better as the author explored more of the Athenite history and because I enjoyed seeing the way everything tied together in the end. While I really enjoyed the more in-depth look into the story behind the Athenites, white really caught my eye with this book was how much Melinda and Felix grew up; there's just many aspects of this book that stand out more than the previous one, as, well as the the tighter storytelling.

Two of the reasons I personally enjoyed Key to Kashdune so much would have to the writing, I think Claudia White did an excellent job with the continued adventures of the Huttons'; and the Huttons' themselves. I've always enjoyed a well written story with a well rounded family who cares for each other, and, that is what you get with them. I really enjoyed seeing the lengths they went to reunite their family even when it meant heading right into the path of danger. Really, if there could be more books with families like the Huttons I would be so happy because I think it would be important to let readers see more than just the dysfunctional families that are portrayed in most books.
     Back to the writing of Claudia White. As you've already read above, I enjoyed reading about the characters in her books and watching them work together. But, when I look at the book without thinking of just the Huttons my thoughts immediately looks to the writing as a whole. And, what draws me to her books is her ability to capture the feelings of her characters so well and how well she is able to tell the fantastic story of the Athenites, especially in Key to Kashdune.

Truly, Key to Kashdune is one magical read as you follow Melinda and family on their quest to find the mysterious origins hidden within a set of journals. For many reasons- the adventure, Ms. White's writing, and the characters- that I would recommend both of her delightful books to anyone.
    I guess you could say that the whole package of this book is what I loved. I'll try not to be a spoil sport here, but I just really, really enjoyed the way the entire story evolved throughout the book and the final face-off between the Huttons and their nemesis. It was a great follow up and continuation of their overall story and I liked the way the book ended.

Final Verdict: Key to Kashdune- One of the most enjoyable reads of the year! Great writing and storytelling make this a must read.

Key to Kashdune earns

this book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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