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House of Secrets

House of Secrets


House of Secrets

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (23 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
11 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 23, 2013
ISBN:
9780062224835
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

From legendary Hollywood director Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and bestselling author Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story) comes this first book in an epic new fantasy series.

Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker once had everything: two loving parents, a beautiful house in San Francisco, and all the portable electronic devices they could want. But everything changed when Dr. Walker lost his job in the wake of a mysterious incident. Now in dire straits, the family must relocate to an old Victorian house that used to be the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff — a house that feels simultaneously creepy and too good to be true.

By the time the Walkers realize that one of their neighbors has sinister plans for them, they're banished to a primeval forest way off the grid. Their parents? Gone. Their friends? A world away. And they aren't alone. Bloodthirsty medieval warriors patrol the woods around them, supernatural pirates roam the neighboring seas, and a power-hungry queen rules the land. To survive, the siblings will have to be braver than they ever thought possible — and fight against their darkest impulses. The key may lie in their own connection to the secret Kristoff legacy. But as they unravel that legacy, they'll discover it's not just their family that's in danger...it's the entire world.

A HarperAudio production.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 23, 2013
ISBN:
9780062224835
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

For over twenty-five years, Chris Columbus has written, directed and produced some of the most successful box-office hits, which have established him as a major force in contemporary Hollywood film-making. As a writer, he launched his career with the legendary films Gremlins and The Goonies. Columbus directed and produced the first two films in the Harry Potter series and produced the third. More recently, he has directed features such as Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

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Cosa pensano gli utenti di House of Secrets

3.7
23 valutazioni / 19 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    A fast moving, action packed read! Perfect for younger readers (middle school & up). Lots of excitement, action, fear, mystery and more. Now my one complaint. There is not much in the way of character development. But this is meted by constant activity and cliffhangers galore. I won't get into much plot detail because I fear revealing something and spoiling your pleasure as you read and discover the many twists and turns along which you will speed. Just one caution...Be sure to fasten your seat belt!! Enjoy!!
  • (3/5)
    My 12 yr old daughter and I read this book together, each of taking a chapter to read. I like to pick books that will entertain her while also promoting a love to read. This book did that. My child needs an adventure or mystery or quest to keep her interested. I want a story with well thought out character development and deeper emotional issues to comprehend. I got the former but not that latter. This is a clearly a book meant to entertain the middle reader. That it does very well. As a parent and a librarian I had hoped there would be some life lessons here disguised as entertainment but I did not find that. And I suppose not all books need to have that. It is just book that is an enjoyable read and that's it. She liked it and I'm going to recommend it on just that basis alone. It gets kid approval.
  • (4/5)
    This title was full of excitement, adventure, and unexpected twists. I had a blast reading it and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
  • (2/5)
    I dove into this book like so many others with the hope that "this will be the one." I'm going through a bit of a rut with my reading material lately, and I'm desperately trying to find that book that will zing up my reading life. The premises for this book really grabbed my attention, so I dove in.I won't say that I was disappointed, but I will say that I found the book very lacking. It seems that so many books are vying for either ultra-action or shock the pants off your readers, and this book attempted to do both. I did enjoy the action in the book, they were on a break-neck pace throughout the entire book.What i find disturbing is that this is yet another book that is dumbed down. Just because you are writing to a YA audience does not mean you have to get into pop culture to portray your meanings. Kids need some depth, some meat to the stories and characters they can believe in and root for. Not just because they have no other options in the book, but because they actually care about the outcome.The characters in this book are so flat and so cliche that it literally hurt to read some of the passages. We have three siblings at different ages that we couldn't tell apart. Cordelia was the one I was really rooting for to show that she would lead her family through this major crisis that she experienced, but when it came down to it, she fails miserably. She gets a talking down from our pilot (Will), and then, she throws a hissy fit and that's her way of showing her maturity? Somehow, I'm not thinking so. Brendan - typical boy, into games and weapons - which is fine, really, but his personality couldn't be more all over the place. He was a tough guy, he was a wimp, he was sassy, he was too scared to do anything. He would talk back, then be cowered by a look. It just didn't make any sense. I didn't see the point of making Elle dyslexic in the book. I'm glad the authors thought to bring some light into a very real problem with kids and adults alike, but how int he world did it do anything for the story? She didn't use it for good - she did overcome it in order to save them all, but it was really glossed over. If we are going to show that she is overcoming something that strong a problem in her life (and dyslexia is a hard thing to live with), why gloss over it so quickly? Just seems gimmicky to me.That being said, none of them really had their own voice. You couldn't tell one from another - and if you happen to slip past a dialogue tag or two, you should really be able to have at least an idea on who is talking. The 8-yr-old spoke more maturely than the 15-year-old in many cases, but then Elle (the 8-yr-old) would revert right back into 2nd grade mode.Where is the depth of characters these days? And may I throw in a lack of a deep plot? What happened to the books that challenged the minds of the children? This book seemed like it was so worried about being popular that it forget what generally makes a book popular to begin with... giving the kids something they can sink their teeth into. Ones that challenge them, gives them things to search for, discover, figure out. This book never delivered in any of those. It threw in some great trivia for the kids (what I did really like), but forgot that if we don't challenge the kids, we are failing them. Just because you wait until later to reveal the plot, doesn't mean you did a great job of getting anything the kids could sink their teeth into.So while there were a lot of good things that really could have happened, they didn't. Which I found to be a real shame. This book had the potential to deliver a big punch to especially boy readers, but you are giving them nothing more than what most of the 30-minute cartoons are doing these days. Action sequence after action sequence, throw in a overly done quip, action, quip - and then cut scene.
  • (3/5)
    A fun fantasy/adventure read. It almost had too much action going on.....
  • (3/5)
    A good book for kids who are wanting magic and adventure.
  • (3/5)
    The Walker family has fallen into a bit of hard luck. Dr. Walker has lost his job after an embarrassing incident, and the family is hoping to relocate, but homes in San Francisco are mostly far out of their price range. When the real estate agent shows them Kristoff House, a lovely Victorian in a prestigious neighborhood, they jump at the property when they learn that it is inexplicably well within their price range. Of course, if something seems to good to be true, it probably is. Shortly after they move in, the Walkers are visited by an old witch who has a grudge against their family, and nefarious plans for them that cause the Walker children, Cordelia, Brendan, and Eleanor, to be trapped in a fictional fantasy world peopled by barbarians, giants, and pirates. She will only let them escape if they obtain for her the mysterious Book of Doom and Desire that appears at key points during their adventure. However, giving the book to the witch might just plunge the entire world into chaos. Is there any way that the Walkers can find their own way back to their world?This book has a promising plot, and the sort of cinematic sensibilities you'd expect from Chris Columbus, who has directed his share of epic fantasies. Unfortunately, the book is marked by a lack of character development and a tendency to rush from one far-fetched adventure to another, to the point that the story didn't feel like it was progressing at all, just running along like a hamster on a wheel. This is another juvenile fantasy that may appeal to young readers who are enthusiastic about fantasy and adventure, but is unlikely to find many fans among more discerning readers.
  • (4/5)
    In this middle grade novel, the Walker family buys a new house that once belongs to novelist Denver Kristoff. But when they move in, unusual events begin almost immediately. Brendon, Eleanor, and Cordelia find themselves separated from their parents and inside three of Kristoff's novels. They must use all of their wits to stay alive and return to present day San Francisco. This worked well on audio, and the Walker children are admirable protagonists. At times, I wished the storyline felt a little repetitive, but overall this was a good read.
  • (5/5)
    its amazing! !
  • (3/5)
    This is the first book in the House of Secrets series. The best thing about this book were the illustrations and the quality of the book; it is a beautifully constructed book with deckled pages and thick high quality paper. The story itself was pretty shallow and empty; there is a lot of action and things move quickly but somehow it just wasn’t engaging. There just didn’t seem to be much of a bigger picture with this story. The family of kids are just running frantically from one event to the next. Given the above, despite all the action, things ended up feeling repetitive. By the end, although it wasn’t written awfully or anything, I just wanted to be done with this book and move on to something else. I was a bit surprised at how vicious the story was at points. This is a middle grade story yet the kids were beaten, tortured, and very violent at times. The level of violence seemed a bit over the top for a middle grade read. Overall this was an okay fantasy adventure story. Younger kids, who are less critical than me, might enjoy the fast-pace...however the level of violence might be too much for them. This is one of those books where I struggle to see what audience the authors were aiming for. The story is too shallow for the YA/adult reader but a bit too vicious for kids. I don’t plan on continuing the series.
  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    While I read this book I found myself time after time wondering who is its targeted reader group. It is written in very easy language (like its target reading group is early teens) but some of the themes in this are for more mature reader (adult).
    Without taking these parts into account the story was interesting and entertaining.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)
    Magic Tree House meets Harry Potter in Chris Columbus's literary debut, which just so happens to be co-written by one of my favorite YA authors, Ned Vizzini. Both Columbus and Vizzini contribute immensely to the story; House of Secrets is swash-buckling action and magical diversion blended with humor and real-life dilemmas that made us fall in love with both authors' works in the first place.The premise of the eerie Kristoff storybooks coming to life is thrilling and enchanting. I love the fantastical elements including pirates, monsters, and a very wicked witch that each find their way to wreak havoc in the Walker children's lives. This novel is suspenseful and thoughtful to its core, and watching the Walkers grow and face their fears was a wonderful, highly illuminating experience.Since this book is targeted for younger teenage readers, there are some aspects that I found a bit childish. For instance, the ending is really quick and insta-happy; I would have liked to see a little more struggle—or at least a little more excitement—in the tangled plot's solution. Our three main characters, Cordelia, Brendan, and Eleanor, are likable, but hardly relatable; they tend to bicker amongst themselves a lot (annoying, but not unrealistic) and afterwards almost immediately come to sappy reconciliation (annoying, and very unrealistic).As expected from a middle-grade novel, House of Secrets moves very quickly and easily, and has a predictable, victorious flourish of an ending. All the while, I was happy to see darker, more serious undertones plague the situation in which three otherwise unworldly children from our much too comfortable day and age find themselves. The gravity isn't too harsh, and there's always a lesson at the end, so in prevalent Lemony Snicket-esque gloom, I am confident middle-age readers will delight.Pros: Original premise // Comical // Imaginative cast of fantasy characters introduced // Light, but doesn't skimp on values // Fast-paced // Funny, well-balanced protagonists // Cliffhanger ending Cons: No real climax // A bit disorienting... nothing in particular stands out because the story is just a jumble of random events that lead up to a disappointing final "battle" // Idealistic, predictable endingVerdict: House of Secrets is a rip-roaring, action-packed, child-approvable ride of a novel that still contains sentiments on courage and on the importance of family. Recommended for children ages 9-12, Columbus and Vizzini's adventure-packed collaboration will teach, entertain, and be a hit among young readers, as well as encourage them to believe in the sheer power—and magic—of the written word.Rating: 7 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): Not perfect, but overall enjoyable.
  • (1/5)
    I was sent a galley copy of the second book in this series and felt it only right that I read the first before the second. "Hailed as “a breakneck, jam-packed roller coaster of an adventure” by J. K. Rowling I found this book a bit too "jam packed"- to the point that it just felt frenetic. "this happens and then this happens - then this happens- hey, let throw some pirates in- kids like pirates" I expected more and was disappointed, particularly since the Goonies is one of my favorite movies of all times. The premise of the book is good; a family with three kids move into a Victorian era mansion in San Fransisco built by an obscure writer and are transported into said writers books in a quest to find another book that will free their parents from a wicked witches curse.... and that's where any "good" ends - right at the premise.This is simply a litany of in-congruent events involving three unlikeable, flat, stereotypical kids who speak in the same voice. About three chapters in I wanted to smack them upside the head and send them to their rooms; dialogue the authors presumably thought would be cute and/or "cool" was just rude and obviously written by adults trying to impress kids- it doesn't - and kids aren't stupid; they can see through transparent attempts to be topical. I cant see any middle school kid connecting with these characters or believing the myriad story lines jumbled together.This may be okay as a movie- the right elements are there- but after skipping through several chapters just to get to the quite trite ending ( something Ive only recalled doing once before), this is not a book I would recommend.Ill try to give the second book a read in the hope that the authors took some of the other reviews Ive read to heart and put a little substance into their characters, a little congruence into their stories lines and a lot less obnoxiousness into their dialogue.
  • (3/5)
    Three children and their parents buy a house after Mr. Walker loses his job. By the time they realize the neighbor has plans for them, the parents have been spirited away and the children are miles from any recognizable land. They must use their bravery and wits to try to get back home, and locate their parents. Quite the fantasy adventure, but a bit too far fetched for my liking.
  • (3/5)
    Alright, audiobook reviews can be sort of tricky to review, since the experience can be so different from reviewing a print book. I notice such different things and don't tend to remember super specific details as well. I'm going to try borrowing (with approval, of course) April of Good Books and Good Wine's format she's been using lately.Why Did I Read This Book?Okay, this may not reflect particularly well on me as a person, but the allure was equal parts the famous name and the awesome cover. Basically, I was curious about whether this would be any good, and whether it would live up to the cover. Obviously, I was skeptical, because Chris Columbus isn't an author, but Ned Vizzini's written things of which I have had good report, so I thought maybe it would pan out well.What's the Story Here?The Walker family lost most of their money and their reputation when the surgeon father did something totally whack during a surgery. They've moved to San Francisco in hopes of getting far enough away from the lawsuit that he can find employment in a hospital (good luck, buddy). Though they lack much money for a house, the realtor show's them this totally insane house, Kristoff House, and they can have it for pretty much nothing. Obviously, they are stoked and ready to move in immediately. Then, the inevitable drawback: Dahlia Kristoff, the daughter of author Denver Kristoff, who built the crazy house is like totally evil and she kills the parents and sends the three kids to a magical world that continually tries to kill them. They face, among other things, barbarians, pirates, skeletons, sharks, witches, and giants. Basically, action, action, action. Oh, and there's a surprising amount of violence. Pretty much everyone gets injured throughout the course of the book and a few die.How Are the Characters?Characterization is totally not what this book is about, so they're pretty flat mostly. Elinor, the youngest walker, tends to actually be the most useful, even if she does tend to run into things without a plan, like when she stabs the leader of the barbarians with a fork. Brave, but ill-considered. Brendan is a teen boy, and he's pretty typical. He doesn't like to read much, and constantly has his eyes on a video game, but he steps up to defend his sisters. Cordelia, the eldest, should be my favorite, because she's all about reading and vocabulary, but she ended up annoying me because of her blindness with regards to boys. Oh, one touch I did like is that both teens actually had acne. That is so rare in books, and, seriously, how many teens don't have pimples now and then? Or, you know, all the time?What About Romance? So, like I said, Cordelia desperately wants a certain boy within this book. He's an aviator named Will, and he's British and handsome. Like, I do not blame her for crushing on him, because British and hot, however, he regularly says seriously sexist things and pisses her off. Yet, she will quickly brush that off and reset to swooning all over the place and being jealous, which only reinforces his negative attitudes towards women. He is totally not a candidate for romance right now, because that is not cool. Overall, though, Cordelia would rather have him as a boyfriend, even if he is sexist, than NOT have him as a boyfriend. Brendan has a couple of little crushes too. I will say, though, that mostly there's not much romance, and that the authors seem to delight in crushing their hopes for the most part, which was a pretty nice change from the romance heavy books I usually read.Am I Going to Continue with the Series?Probably not. It's not character-based enough to be an ideal read for me. I'm glad I satisfied my curiosity, but I'm not interested to continue on for more, especially since the direction it's going in at the end annoys me. I feel like this could have been a standalone, but those aren't all that popular right now.How Was the Audio? Daniel Vincent Gordh does a pretty good job. His lady voices are a little bit weak, but that's not uncommon. His little girl voice for Elinor was really obnoxious, though. Otherwise, he was easy to listen to, and the audiobook was an enjoyable way to pass the time. I don't think I would have been able to three star this in print, because it's just not really my thing, but it was fun on audio.
  • (4/5)
    There are some middle grade books that have a larger audience, and there are some middle grade books that are just perfect for 9-13 year olds. This is the second.It is an action-packed tale of three siblings, a magical house, pirates, an evil witch, and so much more. The character development could have been better, but that isn't always what books are about.This is a fantasy adventure novels that kids will really enjoy. The three siblings are different enough that most kids will be able ot relate to at least one of them.
  • (4/5)
    Kim's Bookstacka few seconds agoHouse of Secrets is going to be the next big thing because it has everything that kids and adults would want in a fantasy series - pirates, evil witches, a giant, a dashing British fighter pilot, knights, precocious children, earthquakes and tons of magic. From the first page Chris Columbus (director of Harry Potter fame) and Ned Vizzini (young adult author) work their magic and introduce us to a special house set just beyond San Francisco. A house with a terrible secret and one that the three Walker siblings must find so they can get their old life back. House of Secrets is due out April 23 and you will want to be in line to be the first to read it before the buzz begins. You can almost see the movie but I loved it in spite of that because the characters are well thought out and intelligent with a fun dose of humor.
  • (3/5)
    This book was a definite let-down. With an author who wrote the scripts for Gremlins and The Goonies, directed two Harry Potter films, Home Alone, and Mrs. Doubtfire, and produced Night at the Museum and The Help, I had high hopes for this book. Add on an endorsement from J.K. Rowling and I’ve been salivating for this book for months. You know how we usually say the book is better than the movie? In this case, Chris Columbus probably should have stuck with writing scripts instead of books. The Walker family has lost all of their money after Dr. Walker unconsciously carves a mysterious symbol into the abdomen of a patient and is fired. Miraculously, the family is able to find an absolutely gorgeous mansion exactly within their budget because the owner is looking for just the right family to buy it. Turns out, it’s owned by an evil witch who wants to use the family to obtain an evil book that will make her ruler of the entire world. This book is completely action-packed. And that’s about it. There is a lot of fighting, violence, injuries, deaths, fantastical settings, beasts, and characters. We are constantly on the move in this book. The characters aren’t developed very much, so I had a hard time caring about what was happening to them. A few who died should have evoked some kind of sadness but didn’t really bother me. Honestly, there was so much action that it got repetitive and boring instead of exciting and page turning. I felt that there was TOO much going on, almost as if they picked every magical/mythical thing they could think of and put it in the book. I had a hard time making myself finish the book and was bummed when I learned it’s only the first in a series. Definitely could have been a stand-alone. The way that the conflict was resolved didn’t seem logical to me (a character shows up to fight the witch without any warning to the reader that this person was even an option to help save the kids). I probably won’t continue this series.
  • (3/5)
    It is a good book for young middle readers. Lots of action but it wasn't great on plot and character development.