4 out of 5 stars
Total read in 2010 so far: 74
(Also posted on my Goodreads profile here.)
You know what I don't like?
How you can have a great sort of pseudonym like Lemony Snicket or even Pseudonymous* Bosch and all it takes to expose them is to type their name into Google. Granted, apparently Mr. Bosch was able to keep his pseudonym secret for three years before he was discovered (and how he must have howled and eaten several pounds of dark chocolate when he was discovered), but still, I just don't like knowing. Perhaps I am in a secret-keeping mood thanks to this book.
Yes, this book is all about secrets, big and small, good and bad, but it's also, intriguingly, about synesthesia and the sense of smell; each of the books in this series are/will focus on a certain sense. The book really has a lot going for it: a good puzzle, secretkeeping, adventure, humor, and clever methods to keep the personally engaged. The riddles were very good, the kind of thing I bet a kid would have fun working out before they read on to reveal the answers, and the appendix is full of random, interesting information.
If you don't like quirky books, you'll hate this one. I can tell from reading the Goodreads reviews. While it may get to be too much in future books, I think old Pseudonymous handled it very well. It didn't annoy me once throughout the book.
* The name choice made me smile; "Hieronymus" is one of my favorite names ever even though I can't spell it.