Rating: 4.2 stars
Escape rooms meets secret family historical mystery (emphasis on the mystery, less on the history). Ted’s an online escape room pro. He plays the games all the time, and has a knack for figuring out the right clues, and solving the mysteries. When his great uncle dies, and leaves Ted his apartment in his will, Ted realizes there’s more to the place than the piles of junk he initially sees.
If you’re a fan of Lemoncello’s Library and escape games, this middle grade fiction is excellent. The adventure is a lot of fun. The conflict takes a bit of time to build up over time, but eventually you find yourself deep into the race for understanding this mysterious puzzle. Ted is an interesting character. I really liked that this book touched on an interesting subject matter – Japanese in the U.S. during World War Two. I enjoy seeing main characters that aren’t all white. I would have enjoyed a bit more depth in Ted’s parents, but Isabel and Caleb were some nice contrasts to Ted.
Just remember to pay close attention to the details. I found myself rereading paragraphs for clarification on one or two occasions. I would have enjoyed a bit more details on settings to help me see the puzzles a little more clearly.
Recommendation: Good fun all ages adventure/ mystery piece.