House of Secrets

It will certainly come as no shock to anyone that one of the most adventurous, exciting and imaginative literary creations of 2013, has come from the minds of a legendary director and an author who is tops in his genre.

Hollywood director Chris Columbus whose work includes the first two movies of Harry Potter, heads into the YA fantasy genre once again. But instead of J.K. Rowling’s words to direct by, Chris has joined forces with bestselling author, Ned Vizzini, in order to write a brand new roller-coaster ride that’s far away from Hogwarts Castle.

Set in San Francisco (which is – to me – one of the best locations in the world when looking for a mystery house), readers fall in love with Brendan, Eleanor and Cordelia Walker. The Walker clan is doing ‘well’ in the economic world, and the kids definitely get everything on their Christmas lists each year. But the oddities begin when fate steps in the way.

Their father, a Doctor, soon loses his job over mysterious circumstances. Out the window goes financial security, forcing the Walker family to head straight into a new house. This is the ultimate Victorian in San Francisco. Although a little embattled, this was once home to a thrilling writer – a master of the occult – who left his own veil of creepiness over the house.

Suffice to say, the Walker children find themselves knee-deep in a journey where they must discover and bring back a book that holds deadly dark power in its pages. You’re talking about delving into a world that offers no parents, friends or allies, as the kids try to get back to the real world before it's too late.

This is a gift for the true fantasy buff. Medieval warriors; spectral pirates traveling the high seas; even a Queen is thrown in for good measure with more power and vanity than Snow White’s nemesis ever had.

The best news is that this is only a taste of what will, hopefully, be a long series. This reviewer votes for at least seven. After all, Chris Columbus did work with the amazing Rowling who changed the face of YA fiction forever with her seven-book series, so it seems only fair. Absolutely awesome! Hopefully Disney gets on the stick and signs this one up for movie-screen time!

Book Blurb for House of Secrets

From legendary Hollywood director Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and bestselling author Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story) comes this first book in an epic new fantasy series.

Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker once had everything: two loving parents, a beautiful house in San Francisco, and all the portable electronic devices they could want. But everything changed when Dr. Walker lost his job in the wake of a mysterious incident. Now in dire straits, the family must relocate to an old Victorian house that used to be the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff—a house that feels simultaneously creepy and too good to be true.

By the time the Walkers realize that one of their neighbors has sinister plans for them, they're banished to a primeval forest way off the grid. Their parents? Gone. Their friends? A world away. And they aren't alone. Bloodthirsty medieval warriors patrol the woods around them, supernatural pirates roam the neighboring seas, and a power-hungry queen rules the land. To survive, the siblings will have to be braver than they ever thought possible—and fight against their darkest impulses. The key may lie in their own connection to the secret Kristoff legacy. But as they unravel that legacy, they'll discover it's not just their family that's in danger . . . it's the entire world.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2013 4.00