Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Hmm, you know, I find middle grades are hit-or-miss for me lately. Sometimes I love them, other times, not so much. I think this one falls somewhere in the middle. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it.

The premise itself was interesting, Jack, a boy who can find things that are lost goes on an adventure to find his lost father. Eventually Jack finds out that his father is part of a long line of Trackers, and he was working on a mission when he disappeared. An evil man named The Clockmaker claims to be holding his father hostage and won't release him until Jack finds and brings him the Ember, a magical object that holds the secret of The Great Fire of London in 1666.

I really liked the historical elements of this story, I don't personally know about the history of England but I had heard a little about the Fire. I always really enjoy when historical events are explained and shown with magical elements, they make history so much fun, adding this element of explanation that may not have previously been known. The addition of the Ember and magic as possibly the cause of the Fire adds an interesting spin.

I really liked how real Jack was. He meets Gwen, who knows all about this mysterious Ministry his father works with, and is constantly giving him new information. His reaction to her is very realistic and typical, he is skeptical at first, and for most of the first part as to what she was saying to him. He doesn't immediately assume everything makes sense, he questions things. Gwen is very crazy, like to the point of her wanting them to be partners forever, like real Trackers and Quartermasters, even though they are thirteen years old. I didn't really love her character too much, especially at the end.

I appreciated how this kept true to a middle grade in terms of Gwen and Jack's relationship, nothing gets out of hand, although she does kiss him on the cheek once like out of the blue. But there wasn't any PG-13 stuff going on, and really the story is about Jack finding his dad, not finding a girlfriend.

Overall, this was an interesting read, but not one that I absolutely loved.