Book Reviews

The City of Secret Rivers by Jacob Sager Weinstein

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List Price: £5.63


Kindle Edition: 352 Pages.

Published: 01 June 2017 by Walker Books



A hilarious fantasy adventure set in modern day London.An exciting subterranean London adventure, the first in a middle-grade trilogy. Hyacinth Hayward has recently arrived from America and is having difficulty adjusting to her new surroundings, especially being in the sole company of her eccentric mother. Everything feels strange. Very strange. And it gets stranger the day she accidentally unleashes the power of a secret river running through London. To prevent a second Great Fire, Hyacinth needs to retrieve a single, magically charged drop of water from somewhere in the city sewer system. Along the way she encounters an eclectic cast of characters – the shambling, monstrous Saltpetre Men who kidnap her mother, the Toshers who battle for control of magical artefacts and a giant pig with whom she has a tea party. The clock is ticking – will she figure out who to trust?


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Mad & Exhausting

Hyacinth is a young American girl who has just arrived in London. She is struggling to settle in and doesn't seem to have made any friends. Then one day she gets fed up with the tap in the bathroom which just won't mix the hot and cold. The rest is an exhausting and frankly quite mad rush through London.

I quite enjoyed this book and can quite see its appeal for a junior school aged child. It is quite frantic with plenty of action & zany creatures. There are elements of history thrown in - Bazelgette's sewers and the Monument spring immediately to mind.

As far as structure and the plot goes this book is a little shaky. I am not sure that I kept up with people switching sides, who was really who they claimed to be and exactly why everyone was chasing this drop of water. The book did jump around quite a bit with people appearing and reappearing  in different guises. They are a lot of characters to get your head around and I am really not sure that I succeeded.

On the whole this is a fun book. There are many places where children will smile and laugh. I doubt most children would keep up with everything in this book but I have no doubt that readers will enjoy it and take away at least something.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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