Review Blog

Nov 19 2008

If you're reading this, it's too late by Pseudonymous Bosch

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2008
(Ages 10+) Highly recommended for boys and girls. Part of The Secret Series with a third title promised shortly, this book follows The Name of this Book is Secret. Cass the survivalist and Max Ernest, her faithful side-kick, partner up again; this time to search for an ancient terrifying creature - a homunculus. Cass is the keeper of the Sound Prism, a role which both mystifies and excites her. The dangerous Ms Mauvais and evil Dr. L relentlessly pursue them both, resulting in some very exciting chases and captures.

While not essential that the first in the trilogy be read, the continuity between the two books works well. One becomes accustomed to the intrusions of the narrator as he keeps an ever present eye on the young ones, frequently commenting on the action and probable resolutions. This interaction provides extra opportunities for negotiating the storyline, and adds great humour to the story. This style reminded me a little of Lemony Snicket's voice in The Series of Unfortunate Events.

The plot is fast-paced throughout, with a wonderful range of entertaining, likeable characters and wicked, criminal types. The action is tightly controlled with a good feel for place. We follow Cass and Max-Ernest from home to school, to the Magician's Museum, and to sharks at sea; followed by camp sites to graveyards - it's all part of finding the secret!

This is a most enjoyable read, and bound to appeal with its action-packed episodes and author interjections.
Julie Wells

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