Top positive review
Enjoyable book about a strong girl
Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2019
The influence of Harry Potter is strong in this debut novel, but I still found it an enjoyable story, well worth reading. The heroine is a brave, clever girl who meets challenges head-on but also thinks ahead. The subplot about her soccer/football prowess was a bit contrived (and also too much like HP's Quiddich experience). The main plot, about her long-lost father, led into well-worn paths, more like Harry Potter than like A Wrinkle in Time. The nasty conspiracy that the heroine uncovers has strong echoes of Voldemort's Death Eaters, but also includes a nice jab at Old Boy Networks through the ages.
At least this story does not suddenly introduce a magic or supernatural element. I hope the sequel steers clear of magic, too.
I have never attended a boarding school, though I have visited several schools in New England. Are the children really left to their own devices during most hours of the day and night? It seems very strange in comparison with American high schools, where students are supervised closely and hall monitors check everyone's pass. Whether the prep school in this book is realistic or not, it certainly is a great escapist environment for stressed-out middle-schoolers.