Book of the Day
The Lost Property Office is the first book of the fantastic Section 13 series by James R. Hannibal. It is the story of Jack Buckle, a thirteen-year-old American boy in the midst of a family crisis. His father has disappeared while working in England. His mother is on the verge of breaking down. Everything is out of his control. But Jack is about to discover that nothing is as it seems and he maybe the only one that can save his family.
The novel begins with Jack and his little sister, Sadie, who are left alone in a London hotel while their mother desperately searches for their missing father. Jack suspects the worst but doesn’t want to upset his sister with his suspicions or make things worse for his mother by asking questions. All he wants to do is put on his earphones and shut out the world. But when his sister runs out of the hotel babbling about seeing their father walk by he is forced to face the world.
Jack is hyper-aware of the world around him which allows him to follow minute clues and brief glimpses of Sadie as she runs through the crowded street of London and down into the complex subway system below. Reunited with his sister, the pair stumble upon The Lost Property Office. This office is not a simple lost and found. A bit like Alice going down the rabbit hole, Jack is led deeper and deeper into the endless sublevels of The Ministry of Trackers. His case is turned over to Gwen. Though she is only 12-years-old herself, Gwen is a well-trained and capable Assistant Clerk at the Lost Property Office. Like a young Robert Langdon and Sophie Noveau, Jack and Gwen follow a trail of clues through London—racing to try and save Jack’s father.
Although written for young readers, Hannibal’s cleverly crafted story is enjoyable for adults as well. While certainly fantastical, the story is wonderfully logical. Science is magic explained. Hannibal’s characters are well-developed and relatable. The conclusion is satisfying while still leaving plenty of room for more. Jake Buckles is a character on par with Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, or Jacob Portman. I am very eager for the next book in the series, The Fourth Ruby that will be released in October 2017.
I just pray that when the movie adaption happens they don’t muck it all up….