Wednesday 28 September 2011

The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin

Pages - 289

Published by Templar in 2010 in the UK
Published by Candlewick Press in the US

'Soranzo is out for your blood, Fausto Corvo.'
The candles in the astrologer's study flickered as he spoke, sending light dancing over a table covered with star charts and calculations. 
'I know, Vito,' said the man with the hooked nose and dark eyes. 'You are the third friend to warn me.'
'I fear for your safety, Fausto. Soranzo is not a man to be toyed with. He did not become one of the most powerful men in Venice without destroying the lives of those blocking his way.'

Goodreads Summary
When Sunni Forrest’s stepbrother accidentally transports himself into a Renaissance painting, she and her friend Blaise set out to bring him back. They find themselves in a strange world of labyrinths, monsters and pirates.

Can they evade their greedy pursuers? And will they ever find their way home?

From the first chapter,you are sucked straight into the labyrinth and the story sets off on a hearty pace, barely allowing you to catch your breath, let alone calculate your bearings. I literally felt like I had been sucked into the Renaissance painting too. Just by sheer chance, Sunni's step brother, Dean is  transported first into a world that no one knew existed. Luckily Sunni worked out exactly how he had got sucked into the labyrinth and went straight in after him. 

The scenes within the painting were extremely  interesting. I have always imagined what it might be like to step into a painting and Teresa Flavin had described it perfectly.  I love this fascinating idea of transporting into a picture, only to find a magical world of adventure behind it. 

This book reminded me a little of the Narnia adventures, especially The Voyage of the Dawntreader. I think it is the fact that it involves an adventure into another dimension which brought the stories to mind.

The children are desperate to find their way home and the journey becomes quite intense as they battle with time and distractions to reach home again. 

The characters were interesting and quirky in their own ways. The writing well paced, keeping my interest through the story as they raced from one trial to another. The world building was amazing; such an interesting layered world must have taken a lot of construction, so I really was impressed by the detail to which the author went into. 

I only had one niggle and that was  that at one point, I did find myself getting quite confused as to which ship each child was travelling on  as well as which boat was being discussed in the story at a particular moment. The choppy nature of the writing, made me lose my way a little until they left the ships behind, then I found myself back on track with the story. 

Other than that  a most enjoyable read. I look forward to reading the next in the series. 


  1. I love the cover of this book. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Vivienne!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. I can't wait for the next one out in a few days! :)

  3. Choppy is not good, because if I lose focus for a second I will just get more and more confused

  4. oh I loved this book, I didnt really get all that confused by the ships but I got kinda confused as to how everything worked within the painting... I think I thought about it too much!


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