Reviews by camelsamba
nice start of a trilogy
Even though this is the first in a trilogy, we read it last. It was somewhat strange to finish a trilogy by reading the first book - we listened to #2 as a BOCD a few years ago, and read #3 a few months before this. Getting introduced to characters we already know is a bit repetitive but also strangely revealing -- especially the Moose:Piper relationship. Some people criticize this for weak character development, especially in regards to Moose. I didn't feel that way, but perhaps it's because I had already seen how all the kids (and parents) fit to the larger 3 book arc. Moose especially grows into his multi-faceted character as shown in this tale. I did feel that this story was a bit flat compared to the others, so maybe I would have shared that criticism if I'd started with this.
Nice idea, poor execution. The intended audience seems muddled and unclear - the presentation of ideas ranged from over-simplified to strangely sophisticated. Some of these didn't really seem like mysteries, or at least not something you could solve with the evidence available today. Perhaps it is a good way to get kids thinking about art in a deeper way, but I was not impressed.

Typos (I saw 4) were a distraction. I was also bothered by the format of the timeline. People are shown with a lifespan - a range stretching across years. But events that last many years are shown with only the starting point. Also, some of the people in the timeline are not even mentioned in the text. Seems sloppy.
kind of drags
Read this to my 10yo son, who kept falling asleep as I read. Partially that's because we were staying up later than normal part of the time, but also because the story does drag at times. The plot has science fiction, alien visitation, crop circles, evil villains, time travel, teleportation(?), and so on - not typical fare for either one of us. But we cared about the characters and the storyline, so we finished it.
just an introduction
A good introduction to various artistic techniques, but it really is only an introduction. I was distracted by all the asterisks (directing reader to glossary in back of book).
As usual when reading this series, I was impressed at how much insight Jacqueline Winspear provides into the trauma and after-effects suffered by the soldiers of World War I. This story takes place in about one week, beginning on Christmas Eve 1931. Maisie is working with Scotland Yard to track down a killer who is threatening to attack London itself if his/her demands are not met. Great stuff.