Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Tell-Tale Start


The Tell-Tale Start by Gordon McAlpine
Illustrated by Sam Zuppardi
4/5 stars
Viking, 2013
177 pages
MG Mystery

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

One of my favorite classic authors is Edgar Allan Poe so I always perk up when I see contemporary novels incorporating him in some way. The twist for this book is that identical twins Edgar and Allan Poe are the multiple great-grandnephews of Poe may be one person in two bodies and the scientific implications of this have led to a mad scientist spying on them for years.

I think that premise sounds fairly bonkers and settled back for a zany ride, which is exactly what I got. My favorite part was definitely the peek into the life after death where Edgar Allan Poe watches over his relatives while also toiling under the direction of a very bossy William Shakespeare-so humorous!

The boys are brilliant geniuses and have an excess of time and energy, leading to them getting up to a lot of stuff. Mainly in this book, they travel cross-country to get their cat and end up confronting the scientist. I didn't feel like there was a whole lot to the plot given the book's relative shortness but that may make it all the more appealing to its target audience and perhaps serve as a push to reluctant readers.

This is the first in a series and thus it concludes with a very open ending that leaves room for many more adventures in the offing for Edgar and Allan.

Overall: I would say that this reminded me a lot of Lemony Snicket and I think his fans will enjoy this book as well.

Cover: Very spot-on although the eyes of the boys aren't as identical as I would have expected. Love seeing the cat, Roderick Usher :)

16 comments:

  1. I always love MG covers! They are so detailed :) This sounds like fun, although I have to be honest: I'm not very familiar with Poe's work. I will take a look at it and see if I can read some work on the internet.

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    1. I love cartoon covers and since MG tends to have a lot of them, it works for me. You should definitely check out some of Poe's writing-he's amazing!

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  2. This sounds like fun and I adore that cover.

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    1. It was a really cute, fun, light read that went by really fast-nice to sneak in if you need another book read for the year.

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  3. I think my kids would love this, and my library has it too. Yay! Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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    1. Yay for your library having it-hope your kids love it!

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  4. This sounds really interesting and entertaining :) This is my first time seeing this around and I'm definitely curious! Great review :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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    1. Yeah, I don't feel like I've heard much about it but I think it was definitely a fun read and many readers will like it.

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  5. Sounds like a fun, cute easy book! Love Lemony Snicket's books! Fantastic review!

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    1. You are exactly right about what kind of book this is!

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  6. Love EAP and loved Lemony Snicket! Hope I can read this one day.

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I hope you can fit it in too-it's just so cute and should leave you feeling good.

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  7. Hmm. I LOVED Lemony Snicket's series of Unfortunate events, so I think I may give this one a shot. Awesome review, girly! (:

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    1. I'm excited to see how the series grows and if it can reach the same level of complexity as the Series of Unfortunate Events.

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  8. I hadn't heard of this one until you marked it on Goodreads, but you've got me curious now! I'll have to check it out. :)

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    1. Excited that I brought this to your attention-hope you enjoy it!

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