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I am a mother of three boys (13 and a pair of 11-year old twins) and they allow me to read books to them (still!). This is one of our "family book club" picks and it was so-so. My 11 year old twins found the periodic setting (1870ish in Canada) boring; I thought the narrative style was lacking and though ultimately the pace of the book accelerated and the central conflict resolved in a dramatic way, I do not think this book was as good as The Nest, also by Oppel, which we also read a few months ago. Three things I did very much love about this book: the train as a city - what an imaginative setting and Mr. Oppels descriptions of the opulence and filth were wonderful. I also loved the literary homage to Portrait of Dorian Gray, which I discussed with my children. However, the leap to the fountain of youth canvas was tentative at most, and probably one of the weakest links in the plot. Thirdly, I enjoyed the factual treatment of the sasquatch. This element added a bit of whimsy and fantasy to a thrilling YA mystery novel crossed with historical fiction.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
An exciting and whimsical story perfect for 10 to 14 year old boys and girls. A wonderful balance of the imaginary and historical characters. The perfect read aloud.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful