Saturday, April 23, 2016


Author:  J.L. Hickey
Publisher:  Smashwords
Category:  Sci Fi and Fantasy; Teen & YA Fiction
Received from:  a gift from the author

Description from the publisher:
Young siblings, Hunter Glen and Elly Anne, lost their parents in a plane crash merely two weeks ago. Not knowing how to deal with the sudden and painful loss, the children find themselves living with their enigmatic Godfather, Dr. Calenstine. Taken from their home, and all their friends, they find themselves living inside the even more mysterious Belmonte Manor, a secretive and enormous estate that houses a creepy ancient castle.

Despite the kindness of the Manor's caretakers, the siblings find themselves imprisoned in their room, where the many secrets and dark past of their new home slowly unfold before their very eyes.

Follow the young children as they unravel the truth behind their parents past, the mysterious and creepy Belmonte estate, and their "roles" in the terrifying events that the kids often find themselves in.

Filled with secret societies, ancient monsters, mysterious objects, and more adventure than the children could have ever hoped for, J.L. Hickey promises a journey great for young adults, yet wonderfully exciting and riveting for all ages.

While this is not really like Harry Potter, there are some significant similarities.  The main characters, Elly and Hunter, have been orphaned.  They have been transported to an unusual castle/school.  The school is led by a kindly old unusual man who is full of secrets that will be revealed as needed.  There is even an extremely tall new friend, Plato, as misunderstood as Hagrid.  

 One major difference is that we do have two children leading this story, which I believe will make it more approachable by both boys and girls.  Also, this is not a school of magic, but of all of the paranormal animals and objects of myth and lore that may or may not be real, including some from the imagination of Mr. Hickey, such as Trayor the giant green dog.

This was a great story, well-paced and very well developed.  There was a little extra fun in reading this knowing that “Uncle Joe” is the author and he has incorporated the names of his real niece nephew, and his dogs.

I am looking forward to the next installment in this series and hope that there are many more.  If you have young readers in the house, I recommend that you start them on this series.  I suspect this series may be this generation’s Harry Potter!

Editing / Grammar: C. I noticed incorrect homonyms (there/their), incorrect words/uncorrected typos, (ie “from” instead of “front”) and missing/excess words throughout the book.

The SSS series:
1.     The Secret Seekers Society and the Beast of Bladenboro
2.     The Secret Seekers Society and Solomon’s Seal

Other Books from J.L. Hickey:
  • Wergild
  • The Deity Chronicles:  Origins Journals of Bennett Kingsley


originally posted 07.06.13 on my previous website closed that site because I promoted authors and their books. 

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