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review 2015-06-22 08:00
Hawthorn Inn
Hawthorn Inn - Heidi Willard

After Jack moves with his mother to an old inn strange things happen. Including his grandfather who's there out of nowhere.

 

Intended I think for a somewhat younger, possibly MG audience, as the mystery was not spectacular, I still found it quite enjoyable. A haunted house, with mysterious hidden entrances and rooms. I would have loved it as a kid. This being said, I didn't like the fact that this book didn't seem to have an ending. Many of the great questions, like what exactly is his grandfather remain unanswered. Which probably would have been less of a problem had the author not referred to there being something for the course of the whole book. I hate it when the first book does this, since it feels like a trap to buy the other books in the series, especially since this was an Amazon freeby. (Honestly, if I liked the book even with some kind of closure, I'd read the sequel)

 

Another thing was the editing. I'm not a native English speaker so I'm far from the right person to address this, but I felt many sentences were missing words or didn't seem to make that much sense. I checked with other reviewers, and they apparently had the same problem, so it's not just me. It would be nice should an editor take a look at it.

 

Hawthorn Inn is the first book in the Catalyst series.

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review 2013-05-26 00:00
Sanctuary (The Catalyst Series, #2)
Sanctuary (The Catalyst Series, #2) - He... Sanctuary (The Catalyst Series, #2) - Heidi Willard Jack seems to settle into a routine at Hawthorn Inn as his mother tries to get the inn ready to open. Between airing out the place, stocking the pantry and opening doors which have been shut for years, they have quite a task ahead of them. Kyle and Jack become good friends and they are reading a journal that they found in the house, trying to decipher exactly what clues the journal has to offer. While searching through the house, the boys discovered tunnels under the inn and some decayed body parts and the boys have decided that they will uncover the mysteries on their own. This has become their mission. Kyle’s grandmother and many other women in this small town have the task of helping Jack’s mother get the inn up and ready for the investors and the big Halloween party that will soon be the talk of the town. Don’t think that these two boys go unnoticed on their adventures as they cause quite a commotion and end up in some heated situations. As a guest shows up at the inn and demands a room even though they are not ready, this Mr. Smith (the name itself sounds suspicious to me) adds a mystery element to the book which carries through till the final pages. The investors show up and one of them brings their son, Ryan. Jack has a lot of people to entertain at the inn with his friends from town and now there is Ryan who seems to have something else on his agenda. There is something lurking in the graveyard and the townsfolk fear for their safety. Halloween is approaching and Jack is trying to keep everyone safe.My first book by Heidi and she does a wonderful job with character development. I did get to know a lot about the characters and the relationships Jack has with them. Jack was a strong, respectable, determined character who says exactly what’s on his mind but also knows how to play people. I learned about the history of Jack’s grandparent’s and some things about the town. This book mainly revolves around Jack and his friends as they try to figure out the mysteries surrounding the inn and the forest. As his mother has her hands full with getting the inn ready, Jack has to keep his friends out of trouble and out of the hands of whatever is lurking outside. The book had a nice flow that made me keep reading to figure out what was going to happen next. I thought it was a bit strange how throughout the book his mother is called Mrs. Erikson instead of Jack’s mom or by her first name– it was just something that took me some time to get used to. In the end, it did leave some unanswered questions that will probably be answered in the following books. It would be interesting to see where this series is headed.I definitely think this is a good book for younger YA reader: a few swear words and another scene that is lifelike (things you normally see on TV).I won a copy of this book: this is a honest opinion of this book.
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