by Stephen M. Giles
I adore children's books that have really nasty characters in them. They have a hint of evil and malice about them but are just over-the-top enough to make them slightly unbelievable. These kind of characters are the best for a fertile imagination to read. Of course, the prime example of these nasty characters (both adults & children) is in anything Roald Dahl wrote. He is the master. JK Rowling was also darn good at the types of characters--(I still have a hard time re-reading Order of the Phoenix due to Professor Umbridge and the anger her character stirs in me).
Well, we have a new author who has created some truly nasty, horrid characters--Stephen Giles. My haste in reading this book was so that I could see them get theirs! The first horrible character is Silas Winterbottom, an odious man who has never, in his adult life, paid any attention to his siblings or their children. So when he invites his two nieces (Adele and Isabella) and one nephew (Milo) to spend time with him at his estate they receive the news with mixed feelings. Adele is forced to go for the visit by her mother, who hopes to inherit the immense estate. Isabella wants the money for herself and goes with plans to manipulate her uncle into giving making her his heir. Milo goes with hopes of revenge because he blames Uncle Silas for the death of his parents.
So we have nasty Uncle Silas and then we have ghastly Isabella, who manipulates Adele at every turn (she doesn't like Milo and Uncle Silas sees through her efforts). I hoped for redemption for Isabella and every now and again I thought I saw glimmers of something good in Silas. But alas, as his plan for the kids became clearer and clearer it was apparent that there was no hope for him. I don't think most MG readers will quite get the foreshadowing and figure out his plot which will make the climax quite thrilling for them!
Mr. Giles has a good writing tone, just enough darkness to keep it interesting, but light enough to make it fun. Good read!
(Tween Tuesday was started and is hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen. Check her out here!