Wednesday, February 1, 2017

MG Fantasy/Adventure/Mystery: The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal

28954041The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Simon and Schuster books for Young Readers
Number of Pages:  390
Published:  November 8th, 2016

Source:  Library

Why I wanted to read this:    The beetle on the cover intrigued me and I was curious about who was looking for lost property, what kinds of things were lost? 

Opening Line:  "A pair of rather large, blue-green beetles buzzed north over the River Thames, weaving back and forth over the water's surface in that haphazard pattern that beetles fly."

When thirteen-year-old Jack Buckles' father goes missing in London, he travels with his mother and younger sister to try to find him.  Jack's mother tells them to stay put in the hotel while she searches the local hospitals, but Jack's sister wanders off after someone who looks just like their father. Jack and Sadie then stumble into the lost property office where they hope to get directions back to their hotel.  Instead, they find a secret society of detectives who track lost people and items and maybe they can help Jack and his sister.  What they do find is that Jack's father is being held by a man known only as the Clockmaker and unless Jack can find something called "the Ember,"  he plans to kill him.  

The Lost Property Office is an interesting place, home to a secret society of trackers able to see and hear things that others can't.  A skill that Jack inherited from a long line of  Buckles before him, but not one based on magic, instead is connected to neuroscience.  Jack has this ability that allows him to touch something made of wood, metal, or stone and in return receives information from the item.  A sort of "spark" or vision of something from the present or even past.   A pretty cool concept, but does have some dangers, like glass apparently being the most dangerous because it refracts things and can be overwhelming.   Jack isn't alone in his quest, he meets up with Gwen, an apprentice clerk who is a sort of guide around London and knowledgeable in the inner workings of the Lost Property Office.  Gwen does have her own reasons for wanting to help Jack, but the two do seem to make a great team.   There was also this mystery to solve and I liked how the history of the Great Fire of London in 1666 was included. Along the way, Jack finds out interesting facts about his families history, things his father has kept hidden from him including those talents Jack never knew he had.  A really nice introduction to a new series and I really hope Hannibal continues to incorporate historical places and people in the next book.         


  1. I was intrigued by the title and cover. This sounds awesome with the mystery and fantasy--my two favorite genres these days.

  2. This sounds fascinating. I haven't heard of it before- but the cover and title caught my attention right away. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

  3. Ooh, this sounds interesting. I'm a sucker for a good MG fantasy/adventure/mystery. ^_^