Adventure · Children · Fantasy · Middle-Grade · Paranormal

Twain’s Treasure (Phantom Files #1) by William B. Wolfe

A highly enjoyable read for all the lovers of a good adventure, humorous dialogues mixed with mystery.

Alex April has a particular gift or curse: he can see ghosts. On the contrary of what you might believe, these ghosts are far from being scary, they are mostly annoying, loud and have the infuriating habit of popping out in the most normal places. Knowing by experience that acknowledging the spirits will only get him into trouble, Alex got pretty good in hiding his talent from both humans and paranormal beings alike. Until this teacher makes a specific requirement for this student to get a library card and present one of Mark Twain’s books. The problem is the library is the most haunted building in town. It’s home to several types of ghosts: the vengeful, the hurting, the crying ghosts, but one, in particular, that seems very interested in finding the legendary Twain Treasure. While his paranormal-fanatic best friend can’t wait to start the adventure, Alex is concerned they might end up very much on the dead side of things.

This children book has everything. It brings together ghosts, history, humour and it gives a glimpse to the life of the famous American author Mark Twain. The story is told in the first person, providing flashbacks of Alex’s past. The transitions are made perfectly and you don’t let lost in the story while jumping from present to the past. The style of writing is simple and easy to follow. As expected, the plot develops in a fast-pace. There a few twists and unexpected turns in the story that will keep you interested, especially when you get to follow Alex into the world of dead cheerleaders and famous historical figures.

The characters are well developed, described and easy to laugh with them and walk with them through the story. Alex, the main character, has a troubled past considering his gift. He always had problems fitting in and feeling like a normal boy. As we get to know him better, we truly feel for him, understanding his struggles and his courage in tackling his life and his issues. He deals with things the best way he can and uses a lot of humour to lighten darker situations. Bones, Alex’s best friend, is hilarious and a great sidekick. He is obsessed with the supernatural and paranormal events and he’s the first one to rush into the mysterious treasure quest. Even though Wolfe doesn’t dig as deep as he did with Alex, Bones is an essential piece of the story and his way of reacting to events is funny and it does help Alex see things with a bit more colour. He keeps Alex grounded without even realising it.

This novel was truly a pleasant to read. I believe this is a great beginning to an exciting series and I can’t wait to read the next adventures of Alex and Bones!

Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Dreaming Robot Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.

5 Stars

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