ARC Review: Serafina and the Black Cloak

Title: Serafina and the Black Cloak
Author: Robert Beatty
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Publication Date: July 14th, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

  "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 Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in the shadowed corridors of her vast home, but 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 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 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.

  Something you must know about me is that I don't usually read middle grade books now that I am almost an adult, but there was just something about the synopsis of Serafina and the Black Cloak that drew me in. And while I didn't really love this book, I enjoyed it.

  Thinking of this one as a kid, I think I would have really loved it. I would have rated it 4.5, maybe. But as an 18-year-old girl, I'm rating it only 3.75 stars. I really liked the plot of this book, and I think that many would enjoy it. However, there were times when I felt like the narrative was too wordy. Most of the time, I only scanned the texts and only really read the conversations.

  I felt kind of bored during the first half of the book, but the story started to picked up around the second half. I must say, I really enjoyed the mystery of this book, and I think that kids would really enjoy it as well. I don't really have much to say about this book, actually.

  Serafina and the Black Cloak is definitely worth a try for kids looking for great mystery books. I think that they would enjoy it much more than I did.

Check out the book trailer over at Disney-Hyperion!

3.5 kinda 'meh' stars

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