THE LOST PROPERTY OFFICE, by James R. Hannibal, Simon Schuster


James R. Hannibal presents a thrilling adventure through history, complete with mysteries, secret items, codes, and a touch of magic in this stunning middle grade debut.
Thirteen-year-old Jack Buckles is great at finding things. Not just a missing glove or the other sock, but things normal people have long given up on ever seeing again. If only he could find his father, who has disappeared in London without a trace.
But Jack s father was not who he claimed to be. It turns out that he was a member of a secret society of detectives that has served the crown for centuries and membership into the Lost Property Office is Jack s inheritance.
Now the only way Jack will ever see his father again is if he finds what the nefarious Clockmaker is after: the Ember, which holds a secret that has been kept since the Great Fire of London. Will Jack be able to find the Ember and save his father, or will his talent for finding things fall short?”


I received this book as a gift. Here’s my honest review.

This book is a clever summation of an intricate world, a huge magic system, complicated yet entertaining characters, a chosen one theme, fast pacing, great adventure and cunning plot unfolding. It is full of history, mystery, finding someone lost, finding out truths, discovering self, developing relationships, using cunning to foil evil and having loads of fun doing all of the above.

So, I imagine you’re wondering if this book is a hot mess? Nope, not at all.  The author has cleverly manipulated his writing to include all that I’ve mentioned without destroying the fabric of plot and diminishing character development.  In fact, this book contains all the parameters of writing fantasy with the added touches from other fictional genres/sub-genres effectively. I’ve not seen this achieved too often without something lacking or being sacrificed for the greater cause.  So kudos to the author!

I love the characters, Jack and Gwen.  They compliment each other and Gwen’s quirky, funny, yet grounded personality helps to propel Jack toward his own personal goals successfully.  The use of London’s Fire is perfect for a backdrop and “sparking” a cleverly invented magic system.

You won’t tire of the action and adventure or the fun dialogue between colorful characters.  I highly recommend this book.

I give this book:


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