Saturday, January 10, 2015

Forget Stepping Through a Wardrobe, How About Stepping Into A Famous Painting?

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

People have been fascinated by the work of Fausto Corvo, a 16th Century painter, for hundreds of years.  Sunni Forrest is just one of his legions of fans.  She admires the artist so much that she's chosen him to be the focus of her school art project.  It just figures that Blaise Doran, her way-too-good-looking American classmate, chose Corvo as well.  His project will, no doubt, outshine hers by a mile.

While Sunni and Blaise are at Blackhope Tower comparing notes on one of Corvo's most famous paintings, The Mariner's Return to Arcadia, 1582, the strangest thing happens—Sunni's annoying stepbrother disappears.  Not that that's something to complain about.  It's just the manner in which it took place.  Sunni can't quite believe it, but she's pretty sure Dean vanished into the painting.  Impossible.  The weirdest thing is, Sunni can see him on the ancient canvas.  Determined to find out what in the world is happening, Sunni and Blaise walk the same mysterious labyrinth that Dean did.  To their astonishment, they find themselves in the same predicament as the younger boy.  

As the kids move through the painting, discovering layers upon layers of worlds, they meet intriguing people, dazzling creatures, and dangers beyond their worst imaginings.  Getting sucked into the Blackhope enigma may mean leaving their own world behind.  Forever. 

In her debut novel, The Blackhope Enigma, Teresa Flavin introduces an intriguing premise that opens up all kinds of fascinating possibilities.  It's an exciting story full of adventure, mystery, and suspense.  Although Sunni and Blaise are teens, the book has more of a middle grade feel to it.  As in many MGs, the main characters don't develop much throughout the story.  Overall, though, The Blackhope Enigma is a fun, fast-paced read that should appeal to anyone who digs a fantastical adventure/mystery tale.    

(Readalikes:  Sequels The Crimson Shard and The Shadow Lantern by Teresa Flavin)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for intense situations/scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Blackhope Enigma from the generous folks at Candlewick Press.  Thank you!

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