I’ve been hearing about this book for a long time, and I finally got around to reading it. It’s similar to The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, but a little less sad and depressing. It has the same narrator warning the reader not to continue, the same dramatically evil bad guys, almost the same amount of adults who are useless (nobody could beat Series of Unfortunate Events in that category, I think).
Cass and Max-Ernest (not their real names, according to our narrator) are unlikely collaborators: Cass deems herself a survivalist, always looking out for the next big disaster, while Max-Ernest can’t seem to stop talking, ever. When they find themselves in possession of the Symphony of Smells, an ancient box of powders with an unknown purpose, they decide to investigate the owner, a mysterious old magician who has recently died. Suddenly, Cass and Max-Ernest are being pursued by evil people who are even more than they seem to be.
This book involves synesthesia, ancient Egypt, codes, and elixirs. It’s kind of crazy and all over the map, but it stays amusing and mysterious all the way through. I think there’s a sequel to this book, and I’d like to read it. The only reason I didn’t give it a higher rating is because it seemed a little young to me and therefore not as impactful as it could have been (also, hypnotism-related scenes! I hate those).
Rating: Good but Forgettable