The House of Hidden Wonders by Sharon Gosling
Published by: Stripes
Released: 2nd April 2020
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Zinnie and her sisters live in the murky tunnels beneath Edinburgh’s Old Town. They keep out of the way of the authorities and remain undetected. Until, that is, rumours of a ghost bring unwanted visitors into the caverns they call home. Among them, a young Arthur Conan Doyle, keen to investigate, and MacDuff, the shady owner of Edinburgh’s newest attraction, the House of Wonders.
Caught up in a world of intrigue and adventure, Zinnie seeks answers. But how can she discover what secrets lie in the House of Wonders while also protecting the sisters she holds so dear?
A thrilling historical adventure featuring mystery in the tunnels beneath Victorian Edinburgh, for fans of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine and Jennifer Bell.
Zinnie, and her two sisters, Sadie and Nell live together in the gloomy tunnels under Old Town in Edinburgh. Zinnie, having taken on the two young girls is determined to protect them and look after them the best she can. They keep out of the way of the authorities and remain somewhat undected, however, when rumours of a ghost bring more people down to the tunnels they call home, including a young Arthur Conan Doyle and suspicious MacDuff, the owner of new attraction, The House of Wonders, Zinnie soon finds herself absorbed into a world of mystery and conspiracy.
This was an exciting read that takes you on a great adventure through the streets of Edinburgh! I found it really easy to become absorbed in and the writing style had such a quirky, fun element to it that made me so eager to carry on reading. Gosling has such a great way of getting you engaged with her stories and this was clearly evident in The House of Hidden Wonders.
The setting of the book is just wonderful and one that I haven’t read about much in Middle Grade. I visited Edinburgh a few years ago and loved it, so it was great to read about this wonderful city. Also, I visited Mary’s King Close when I was there and found it fascinating, so, was overjoyed to be able to read about it in The House of Hidden Wonders. The details of Edinburgh in 1800’s were so intricate and intriguing, and I feel that Gosling must have done tons of research to get this amount of accuracy within the book, and that is commendable.
The plot, despite starting off quite slow, keeps you on your toes and makes you want to know more. I do love a good mystery and the one that was present within The House of Hidden Wonders was such a thought provoking one, that did make me think..a lot! The use of suspense to capture the readers interest was also amazing in this book, and you literally can’t put it down. Gosling has an incredible way of keeping the reader on tenterhooks and this, in turn, makes them become utterly absorbed in the story.
The diversity within The House of Hidden Wonders is next to none, and something that has been solely needed in Middle Grade for a while now. We have own voices rep, disability rep and great female rep, and I was all for it! The one that stood out the most was the disability representation. We learn that one of the characters has Down’s Syndrome and what I like about it was that most of the characters within the story treated them exactly the same as others, and it warmed my heart. It’s exactly how people in real life should be treating those with disabilities and I am hoping that anyone who reads this book takes that away with them.
The House of Hidden Wonders was an enjoyable, action packed read full of secrets and surprise. If you end up reading this you will find yourself drawn in and captivated by it’s historical, diverse feel.