Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Secret Files of Phineas Foster - G. B. Gurland (Review)

33003312The Secret Files of Phineas Foster - G. B. Gurland
Genres: Middle Grace
Publication date: 
 October 31st 2016

Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers
Format: ebook133 pages
How I got it: Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd for an honest review
Buy it: Amazon 
My rating: 4/5 

Almost thirteen-year-old Gabriel Marx struggles with just about everything, from school, to relationships, to navigating between his divorced parents. He arrives in New York City for his annual summer visit with his attorney father who finds himself caught up in the mystery surrounding the murder of one of his clients. It is not long before Gabe finds himself smack in the middle of the intrigue and more determined than ever to prove himself to his dad. 

Gabe encounters various players in the unraveling mystery, learns to trust the friendship of eleven-year-old Alex, and that of the renowned, but now discredited, Professor Phineas Foster. Twists and turns and seeming coincidences reveal previously unknown family history and harrowing choices for Gabe. 

Will the children solve the murder? Will their determination lead to the truth? Will the professor be vindicated? Will the scoundrels who sought to corrupt the professor's lifelong work be brought to justice?

My thoughts:

This is a middle grade book.  

This story follows Gabe who is traveling from CA to NY to stay with his Dad.  Gabe’s mother is a little over protective and nervous about him flying by himself.  On the flight in Gabe sits next to P. J. Foster who is a famous inventor.   Gabe doesn’t realize who the man is at first, but when he leaves a notebook he figures it out. Gabe starts to hunt him down he gets himself into a bit of a mess while attempting to find the inventor.

Gabe is a great main character.  He has trouble focusing in school and is always going from one thing to the next so focusing on this challenge is the perfect thing for him.  I like that he realizes he is struggling with school, but doesn’t know how to fix it.  Also, I like that both of his parents although separated you can tell feel a great deal for him and want him to succeed in everything he does.   I liked that we got to see the perspective of Gabe as well as both of his parents during the book.

I enjoyed how the entire cast of characters all became related while you are reading the book.  We have Gabe’s parents, but also then Gabe’s dad driver Peter and district attorney’s daughter Alex becomes involved.  Also, P.J. Foster has some family that all come together and are connected.  The author doesn’t reveal how everyone is connected right away.

The story flowed very naturally to me it was a complete adventure almost right when you start reading.  I enjoyed how everything pieced together while I was reading.   The author also did a great job setting up the action scenes since the entire book has a lot of action it was important to keep the story moving along.  The author can setup what is going on as well as provide us with enough details so we can visualize what is happening.

My major complaint with the story is there are so many POV’s that the story is being told with it was hard to follow along.  It would switch mid chapter and it almost felt like mid-sentence to another point of view and sometimes I couldn’t keep up.  I wish that either the POV switched by chapter or there was some way to distinguish what was going on.
I would suggest this as a nighttime read.  I felt there were a lot of natural stopping points that I could put the book down and pick it back up.  Also, it allowed me to digest what was going on.

I received a copy of this book from Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd to provide an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book. 

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