Monday, February 16, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: The Blackhope Enigma

The Blackhope Enigma (Blackhope Enigma, 1) by Teresa Flavin, August 28, 2012. 304 pages. Published by Templar Books. Source: publisher.
An ancient painting, a magical labyrinth, and skeletons found in a locked room.
For centuries, Blackhope Tower has been shrouded in intrigue, centering on a labyrinth and painting in the Mariner's Chamber. When fourteen-year-old Sunni Forrest visits the tower and sees her stepbrother, Dean, disappear, seemingly into the painting itself, she must find him and risk being drawn into the heart of the Blackhope enigma. This action-packed debut follows Dean, Sunni, and her friend Blaise on a journey to the heart of an age-old mystery.
First Sentence:
"Soranzo is out for your blood, Fausto."

You know what, The Blackhope Enigma was quite the fun read. I was pleasantly surprised by my first exposure to Teresa Flavin's writing; I thought she did a wonderful job threading in the mystery of magical paintings, a missing ancient painter, and labyrinth into one exciting read. It was a pretty fantastical read.

Sometimes, you know pretty early on in a book if you're going to like it. For me, that moment came during the prologue when you first learn about Fausto, his paintings and why they disappeared. From that moment I knew that I was going to enjoy the mystery surrounding their disappearance and seeing how Sunni, Dean and Blaise would play into the overall story.
   I think what really made me curious about this book and the mystery would have to be the "why's" of everything. I'm always curious to see behind the reasons for the characters choices and how they get to that point that sends them off on some dangerous and magical journey; as well as how it'll change them (if it does at all). In once sense, I enjoyed seeing the characters work towards finding their way out of the painting and face off against a treasure hunter. Yeah, you can imagine that I enjoyed this book, right. It was definitely a "me" type of read.

So, while I enjoyed the mystery and seeing the characters slowly learn to rely on each other to find their way, it was Teresa Flavin's writing that really sold me on The Blackhope Enigma. It was a great blend of fantasy and mystery to draw me in. Plus, her characters were flawed but in an interesting way. I loved that Sunni and Blaise were both slightly jealous of the other's skills and how they came to respect each other as the book went along. While Dean may have disappointed me, especially at the end, I could see why he acted the way he did when it was all said and done.
   As much as I enjoyed the main characters, it was a certain mysterious guy who stole the show. Guys, there was just something about this guy's history that really added something to the overall story-line. While I refuse to go into details on why I found him to be such a great addition to the cast, I'm sure many of you will enjoy him once you meet him and learn his story and the role he'll play throughout the book.

Final Verdict: The Blackhope Enigma-  Art, mystery and paintings that have vanished, this book is chock-full of danger and adventure. In other words, this is one fun and thrilling read worth checking out.

The Blackhope Enigma earns

this book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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