September 06, 2017

#BookReview: Serafina and the Black Cloak (Serafina, #1) by @BeattyAuthor @DisneyHyperion #Giveaway

Here is today's first post! This series was so cute and I can't believe that I hadn't picked it up before now! 
“Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity . . . before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

Robert Beatty lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and three daughters who help create and refine his stories. He loves to explore the grand Biltmore Estate and the darkened forest trails where his novels take place. Mr. Beatty's Disney-Hyperion novel "Serafina and the Black Cloak" became a New York Times Bestseller the first week it was launched and remain on the list for 20 weeks. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives, he was one of the early pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the chairman/CTO of Narrative Magazine. In 2007, he was named an Entrepreneur of the Year. When asked about the inspiration for his book, Robert said, "Serafina's journey grew out of my desire to write a story about an unusual and heroic young girl for my three daughters."

WOW Just wow this one was really good.  Yup the kids didn't read this one I did lol.  I ended up getting a copy of book one and two from a book event last year and they were pretty much just sitting around. So when Disney wanted to know if we wanted to review book three, I jumped at the chance.  MAN this book was beyond good. It didn't catch me fully to start with as I ended up starting over shortly after starting chapter one. But by 30 minutes later I was already on page 91. I ended up finishing this one just over 9 hours later the next day.  That's just how engaging this book is.  

The author did a wonderful job with the setting and the time period. I think it all worked out well for this story and I was just sucked fully into all of it.  The world was rich with a vastness that I just can't explain. Just with the house that this author created, you could feel how large it was. And the once Serafina got outside into the woods she wasn't supposed to go into. It got even bigger.  I really loved the world that Beatty created as a whole. The magic, mystery, and suspense really worked well off of one another to create this massive world. 

The flow for this one was wonderful as well. We didn't get any other POV and that worked out great. I loved seeing everything from Serafina's POV as it made sure you only got so much of the story as it unfolded for her alone.  It really worked well for the mystery and conflict in this story.  She was by far my favorite character.  The side characters were all each wonderful a few of the adults that were staying at the house were a little hard to keep track of but they still seemed fully formed and well created. 

I really loved the ending to this that although this is only book one it didn't end on a cliffhanger.  So if I didn't have book two and three sitting here I wouldn't be in the  OMG I AM GOING TO DYE UNTIL I GET THEM! situation.   The ending tied up all the loose ends well and I didn't figure out who the bad guy was until Serafina did so that was also great especially since this is a middle-grade novel.  I really can't wait to read book two and then book three and I hope you all check this one out!  

Magic, Mystery, and Awesome Sauce! 

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