Title: Serafina and the Black Cloak
Author: Robert Beattie
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised Serafina and the Black Cloak. Not often does a book manage to keep me on my toes and wondering exactly what is going on, but this one pulled it off. I did have my suspicions, but I was never 100% sure of anything until I reached the point wither Robert Beatty wanted me, the reader, to know the answer. I am pleased to report that not all of my suspicions were correct either. It was very refreshing to discover a book where I wasn't able to guess all of the answers.
This book is about a girl named Serafina who lives with her father in the basement of the Biltmore Estate in the year 1899. Serafina is not an ordinary girl. She doesn't look like most other people. Her hair is multiple colors, she has only 4 toes on each foot, and shes very thing. She also has exceptional hearing and great sight in the dark. However, probably the most interesting thing about her is her bone structure. It is not the same as others. She is missing some of her bones and others are not connected in the regular way. This makes her very nimble allowing her to fit into very small confined spaces with ease.
One night while out catching rats in the mansion to dispose of them, she sees a girl in a yellow dress running away from someone - a man in a black cloak. She follows them, determined to save the girl, but ends up seeing more than she bargained for. She watches the man in the black cloak grab the girl in the yellow dress and the girl vanish!
The rest of the story follows Serafina as she tries to discover the mystery behind the man in the black cloak. Who is he? Where does he come from? Why does he seem to only take children? Who is next?
Overall, I thought that the storytelling skills of Robert Beatty were topnotch. There was one point I felt the story was a bit rough, but it smoothed back out. Robert Beatty's attention to detail was also very good. I had absolutely no issue visualizing the characters or the scenery. It was very well done.
I would say that over all I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. It is a great mystery that will keep you on your toes the whole way through. Also, I just want to note that I absolutely love cover and think it is beautifully done.
This review is based off of an advanced reading copy provided by the publisher, Disney Hyperion, via Netgalley.