House of Secrets

House of Secrets
THE HOUSE OF SECRETS follows three siblings and their family as they are forced to move to a mysterious new house in San Francisco and end up embarking on a journey to retrieve a dark book of untold power.
The Walker kids had it all: loving parents, a big house in San Francisco, all the latest video games . . . But everything changed when their father lost his job. Now the family is moving into Kristoff House, a mysterious place built nearly a century earlier by a troubled fantasy writer. Suddenly the siblings find themselves launched on an epic journey, to retrieve a dark book of untold power and uncover the Walker family’s secret history. Oh and save their parents . . . and maybe even the world.

House of Secrets was a brilliant read. Once I had read a few pages, I found it difficult to put down. Well written, fast paced, lots of action and humour. This is a true adventure story about three children, Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker, who moves to Kristoff House, perched on or literally over Sea Cliff. The house which appears almost Tardis like is an old Victorian house that once belonged to the Kristoff family.
The house seems way out of the family’s budget, especially after the “incident” that is hinted at, that had befallen their surgeon father. However the agent tells them that they are looking for a particular family fallen on hard times and they are that family. Of course things are never that simple and as the story unfolds we learn of the connections between the Walker’s and the Kristoff’s.
All the children feel uneasy at the house, but the parents love the house, and they decide to buy. While looking around the house Cordelia falls in love with the library, and “borrows” a book which of course knowing the way tales go was one big mistake, especially with a stone agent, who actually is a powerful witch and daughter of Denver Kristoff watching their visit.
They move in and from that point the story moves at a fast pace right to the end of the book, with book characters coming alive, pirates, WW1 Fighter Pilot, witches, savages, giants, and an attic that seems to bring people back from the dead.
The house holds many secrets, as the book title suggests, and there is a labyrinth of interesting secret rooms and tunnels, and barrels to help it float.
My one criticism would be the depth of the characters; they were difficult to really feel empathy for. I am sure though that as the series progresses that will change.