Review of Serafina and the Black Cloak

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Amazon

Blurb:

An exciting new mystery-thriller about an unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate and must solve a dark and dangerous mystery. This Disney Hyperion novel became a New York Times Bestseller in the first week of its release, and has been a smash hit ever since.

 

“Never go into the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There’s plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt’s vast and oppulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion’s hidden doors and secret passageways.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A terrifying man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity.

My Review:

Five Stars

Serafina and the Black Cloaks cover is what enticed me to want to read the novel in the first place, the blurb made me want the novel more so, and eventually led to me getting the book. And I’m glad that I did. It’s one of those novels that you can’t help but continuously read no matter what you may need to be doing. And it’s that way because every turn of the page holds a new adventure for Serafina. And it leaves you guessing until the very last page what is really going on, none of it is predictable.

The novel starts of off with Serafina and her Pa, explaining a little about their life in the Biltmore Estate. They live in the basement of the estate and no one knows they are living beneath them. Which I find a bit odd that you can live somewhere and no one know you’re there, but the Biltmore is a large place, so it’s possible for someone to go unnoticed, especially a girl like Serafina. To simply put it Serafina is more cat-like and she’s excellent at sneaky around undetected. Which does her good when she’s roaming the halls of the estate at night catching mice.

But one night things change and a girl goes missing. Seraphina sees what happens to the girl and freaks out. She tries to convince her Pa, but he refuses to believe her. I ultimately feel he refuses for more reasons than is let on here, and a lot of that gets wrapped up as the story progresses. So, Serapina does what any child would do, she investigates. Though I don’t think most twelve year old children can say they’ve done what she’s done, and if you can then kudos to you because you’re a bravery twelve year old than I was.

Ultimately Serafina and the Black Cloak is a story of friendship and one girl desperately wanting to belong to the world that doesn’t know she exists. She wants to be seen instead of just see, she wants to interact instead of daydream of interacting. And if you’ve been hidden for your whole life wouldn’t you want that too? And rather than hiding, like her Pa, she takes the challenge, regardless of the danger. And she does it because deep down she knows she’s something different and she knows the woods contains what she is, and she knows she’s the only one that can stop the man in the black cloak.

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