After the death of her beloved grandfather on her twelfth birthday, Ebony Smart’s world is turned upside down. Orphaned for a second time, she is sent to Dublin to live with her weird Aunt Ruby, with only her pet rat, Winston, for company. With every window nailed shut and a mysterious locked room, 23 Mercury Lane is brimming with secrets. Warned against entering by a voice in the shadows, Ebony is fearful for her future, but has no idea how much her life is about to change. Aunt Ruby informs Ebony that she is part of the Order of Nine Lives – a special tribe of people who reincarnate. She claims Ebony has one week to break a terrible curse or else die – and if she fails, the future of the Order of Nine Lives, and her family, is at risk. With so much at stake, Ebony discovers it’s difficult to trust – especially when there’s somebody else trying to race her to the finish. Does she have what it takes to succeed when nothing is what it seems?
The Book of Learning was an excellent read. The flow of the story, the development of the characters, everything about it was brilliant. I started reading this book not knowing what to expect. I had never read anything by the author, and I wasn’t even sure what sort of story it was going to be until I started reading it. The blurb on the back of the book is brilliant as it doesn’t give much of anything away, but gives you enough that you want to open the book and start reading it. The character’s were all people of their own, and I could really bring them to life in my mind when reading the book, which really helped bring this story to it’s own, because it may seem quite normal at first, but it very quickly gets very farfetched.
I think everyone should read this book. Upon first inspection, you would say this is a Young Adult book for the younger end of the YA spectrum, but at the same time, I know of several grown adults, myself included (if 23 can be called a grown adult), who have read this book and really enjoyed it. In this day and age, I think anyone should be able to read a book regardless of who it’s main target is. But getting back to the point, yes I would highly recommend this book, especially to fans of Harry Potter. While their might only be going to be three books in this series, I think it’s going to me just as magical as the seven that made up Harry Potter.
I loved that there was something constantly going on in this book. Each page you turned there was something else happening that just had you wanting to turn the next page to find out what was going to happen next. It was full of mysteries, clues to be solved, and adventure too. Who doesn’t love all those things?!? From cover to cover, this book is brimming with life, even up to the final few pages the author led this adventure magnificently to a close, while still leaving you on the edge of your seat in anticipation for the next installment of The Nine Lives Trilogy.
If there’s one thing that I would say let the book down, it might be the constant flux of personality of the main character, Ebony. Don’t get me wrong, she was brilliant throughout the book, but there were parts where her personality would change and she would go from this shy timid girl who had been dragged into this adventure unwillingly, to suddenly becoming this person that had been doing all these things for years, and knew exactly what to do and when. I guess you could narrow it down to the whole “fight or flight” thing, but I felt it when there was this shift, it was very uncharacteristic of the Ebony we were introduced to at the beginning.
In the end, my verdict of this book is hat I really loved it, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good adventure book that’s a bit out of this world. I would love to see this book in a different format, even if it’s just an animation. The characters were so strong and each had their own identities that I think that they would portray amazingly onto a screen. I would say animation would suit this better due to all the magical/supernatural elements that are involved in the story, but at the same time, I could be wrong.