by Pseudonymous Bosch
Published October 1, 2007
This is the story about a secret. but it also contains a secret story.
When adventurous detectives, Cass, an ever-vigilant survivalist, and Max-Ernest, a boy driven by logic, discover the Symphony of Smells, a box filled with smelly vials of colorful ingredients, they accidentally stumble upon a mystery surrounding a dead magician's diary and the hunt for immortality.
Filled with word games, anagrams, and featuring a mysterious narrator, this is a book that won't stay secret for long.
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I was excited to read this; I thought it sounded exciting and humorous. When I started it, my initial thought was "Wow, this is funny. I'm gonna be seriously laughing." I did laugh, but the farther into the book I got, the less laughter there was. It just got a bit annoying.
A huge part of the book was spent on talking about how things are secret so we can't know any of it, and we should really stop reading this book. I kind of wish I had.
The author tried way too hard to put the book in the same group as A Series of Unfortunate Events and Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians. Don't get me wrong, there were some fun, entertaining and imaginative aspects to The Name of this Book Is Secret. They just couldn't make up for the political (sometimes blatant and sometimes subtle) brainwashing that was trying to take place.
Okay, I realize that probably wasn't the author's intent, but there were times it felt like it was. Things like Cass's openly-gay grandfather substitutes, and an in-your-face anti-McDonald's (because of how the cattle are treated) theme come to mind off-hand. Sure, I can handle those, not a big deal. But this book is aimed for 9-year-olds. Some would probably be okay with it. Others would not be, and the parents would have every right to be upset that the "cute story" the blurb promises becomes a bit of a soap box.
My favorite part of this book? I got it free on my Nook.