The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin
Release Date: August 9th, 2011
Publisher: Templar Books
Age Group: Children’s- Middle Grade
Source: Borrowed from the Library
Series: The Blackhope Enigma (#1)
Other Titles in the Series: The Crimson Shard (#2), The Shadow Lantern (#3)
Summary (from jacket flap): For centuries, Blackhope Tower has remained an enigma. Rumors abound that skeletons have been known to mysteriously appear in the middle of a labyrinth found in the most famous of its rooms− the Mariner’s Chamber.
When fourteen-year-old Sunni Forrest visits the tower and watches as her stepbrother, Dean, disappears, seemingly into the painting itself, she goes in search of him− and finds herself drawn into the heart of the enigma.
I seem to really only want to read books about kids and art lately so this book fit that topic perfectly. I really liked this story. I especially liked Sunni and Dean’s relationship while they were in the painting and how they behaved. Sunni is 14 whereas her little stepbrother Dean is 12, what I liked is that they acted like kids their age would do in a situation like that. They panicked a bit, they were sad and scared and mad, they bickered a little, Dean was annoying about things little boys are annoying about (such as gross food even though any food in their situation would be better than nothing and yet he still complains like a kid would), and Sunni handles herself with the grace that can only be learned through dealing with little brothers.
I liked the whole concept of the story, as well. I liked the idea of magical paintings that by walking a labyrinth while saying a password would take you inside of it. I liked the layers of the painting and the characters Sunni, Dean, and Blaise found there. I liked the technical aspects behind the layers of the painting as well, such as the top layer being quiet and unfinished and the hallways in between layers being white like canvas. It was the little details that Flavin added to her story that made it so good. Everything in the novel was thought out and executed very well. This book just drew me in from the very beginning and it was hard to put down. It’s a fast paced read that will keep you guessing.