Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Other Side of the Wall

Ephron, Amy. The Other Side of the Wall (The Castle in the Mist #3)
October 15th 2019 by Philomel Books
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Tess and Max have come to London from their Swiss boarding school for Christmas. Their Aunt Evie is there at the Sanborn Hotel with them, but their parents are stuck in Berlin because of the uncustomary amount of snow. They are able to get out a bit and see the sights, and Evie gives them a lot of leeway. They even meet a boy who lives in the hotel, Colin, and visit his apartment while his parents are giving a 1920s theme party and meet a psychic named Adele who tells them there is something "on the other side of the wall". As the days drag on and their parents still can't make it, they start to realize that Colin is not what he seems, and that there is a layer of the hotel that is not inhabiting the present day. When Colin takes over Max's body, Tess realizes that she must find a way to help "the person who used to be Max" and save Colin as well.
Strengths: I loved the London during the holidays setting, and the delay with the parents was believable. Not many books now with children in Swiss boarding schools, but that was a big thing in the 1950s, giving this an air of an older title. Tess and Max get along quite well, and the anxiety about their parents is realistic. Colin, Adele, and the other 1920s characters are great fun-- love Colin's cuff links! I want to spend MY holiday at the Sanborn now!
Weaknesses: This was a very slow moving fantasy book; Colin doesn't become a threat until 3/4 of the way into the book. Also, the phrase "the person who used to be Max" was repeated way too many times.
What I really think: I liked this more than Carnival Magic, but not as much as The Castle in the Mist. I keep hoping that I can get children to read this series; it would be great for fans of Edward Eager, Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden, or Laurel Snyder's Any Which Wall.

No comments:

Post a Comment