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Gerald M. Weinberg
on June 25, 2012 :
As an adult, I'm not supposed to admit that I enjoyed reading a book for younger readers. But as a grandfather, it's okay for me to tell how much my grandkids will enjoy De Kenyon's book, Xanadu House.
Xanadu House is Book 2 of The Exotics, and it's a bit hard to get started if you haven't read Book 1 (a problem which is readily solved). A bit hard, that is, if you're an adult with the adult kind of mind that insists on every question having a logical answer. On the other hand, Xanadu House has all the kinds of things kids love--as the cover promises, spies and magic. Plus likeable kids galore, and hateable ones, too. And mysterious characters doing incredible things.
The Exotics are shape-shifters, each one having an animal side to call upon, sometimes intentionally and sometime by accident. Rachel's mom turns into a bee. Her friend, Babra, a cute cocker spaniel. Digger is a mole, and Rachel, our heroine, discovers her alter-ego is a gecko. Her gecko-form allows her to walk on ceilings and slip through small spaces so she can escape traps and also spy on plotting adults and kids.
Xanadu House is a refuge for exotics, but in this sparkling adventure, there's really no place to hide that's entirely safe. That's just another reason kids will love the book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)