I have heard nothing but good things about this book. Needless to say I had high expectations for it. Overall I really enjoyed the book, except I found that at times it was a bit lacking. First I want to say that the author’s writing style was marvelous. It definitely had the magic feeling that Roald Dahl put into his books that made them so wonderful. There was that extra umph to the book that made it quite enjoyable. Returning again to my reference of Roald Dahl, I felt like the adventure these kids went on was much like the adventure Charlie from, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, went on without the candy! While the book is directed at a more middle grade audience I still found myself enjoying the adventure and solving the riddles along with the children. Now while I felt the characters had personality (especially Kate, who was by far my favorite) I found them to be a little flat. I loved how they were all smart and each contributed in their own way, but it seemed that the author didn’t go that final step to actually breathe life into the characters and make them three dimensional. I also found that in some cases the children acted more like adults which really didn’t suit the book. Moving on to dialogue…it wasn’t all that great. I felt that a lot of it was forced and it just wasn’t coherent. Again the kids tended have an adult attitude which didn’t match the situations they were in. Overall though, I enjoyed the book and think it would be a great book for reluctant readers and middle grade aged kids.