Title: The Apothecary
Author: Maile Meloy
Genre: action, historical fiction
Part of a Series: The Apothecary #1
Rating: 3 out of 5
Who'll Like It: Girls and boys, middle graders, fans of historical fiction with a dash of fantasy and lots of adventure, espionage, and spies!
Why I Liked It:
Janie and Benjamin were awesome kid protagonists, and there were no parents to get in the way of them having an awesome adventure. I have always loved storied involving spies and espionage ever since I was little, and this didn't disappoint. I was initially worried that it would turn into a case of the Author cluttering up their stories with their own opinions, but the book quickly abandons that tack and jumps into what it is at its heart: a good adventure for kids. The alchemy may be a bit odd, but I would have thought it was awesome as a kid, and that's the audience it's intended for.
Author: Jennifer Bradbury
Genre: historical fiction, mystery
Part of a Series: Wrapped #1
Rating: 4 out of 5
Who'll Like It: Girls looking for an awesome Austen-like mystery story that also has spies and Egyptian artifacts that may or may not have magical properties.
Why I Liked It:
Agnes is a great protagonist, who jumps into the adventure without much of a second thought. But she's not recklessly stupid, either. While there's a bit of a romantic interest, it doesn't get in the way of the awesomeness that is the mystery, and while there are hints at possible supernatural involvement, this stays a purely historical mystery. I love the era, I love that the Author incorporated mummy unwrapping parties - which were very much in vogue during this time - and I loved all of her allusions to Jane Austen and her books.