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Publisher's Summary

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson is an enchanting urban fantasy middle-grade debut - the first audiobook in a trilogy - set in a magical hotel full of secrets.

Orphan Elizabeth Somers’ malevolent aunt and uncle ship her off to the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, owned by the peculiar Norbridge Falls. Upon arrival, Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse has many charms - most notably its massive library. It’s not long before she locates a magical book of puzzles that will unlock a mystery involving Norbridge and his sinister family. 

But the deeper she delves into the hotel’s secrets, the more Elizabeth starts to realize that she is somehow connected to Winterhouse. As fate would have it, Elizabeth is the only person who can break the hotel’s curse and solve the mystery. But will it be at the cost of losing the people she has come to car for, and even Winterhouse itself?

Mystery, adventure, and beautiful writing combine in this exciting debut audiobook richly set in a hotel full of secrets.

A Christy Ottaviano Book

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Ben Guterson, illustrations copyright 2018 Chloe Bristol (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • t
  • 05-30-18

12 year olds might like it - not for adults

I enjoy young adult and middle school books. But the author's voice came out all too often instead of the characters'.

If I had to listen to one more book the author had read or hear that annoying chain at the beginning of each chapter, I might have tossed my tablet across the room. As such, to protect my piece of equipment, I stopped listening.

The concept of the story was intriguing. Unfortunately, the follow through did not happen. Most of the characters were caricatures and the main heroine was like a blank - we might have seen a little of what was going on around her, but I never felt like I got to know her. She was but a window into a very odd world where she found ways to create puzzles.

Vastly disappointing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • K. J. Noyes
  • 05-25-18

Hotel-set mystery for kids, word puzzle focus

The oft-used protagonist of the orphan again comes into play here, as Elizabeth Somers', who lives with her neglectful aunt and uncle, is unexpectedly sent to a hotel for Christmas. Finding a delightful library she can revel in, and meeting a like-minded cruciverbalist (puzzle enthusiast), finding the Winterhouse Hotel a fascinating and mysterious place, they stumble across a mystery with clues to unlock... Though some other residents seem determined to dislike and even hinder her.

The draw for me was the constant referral to word puzzles, the games Elizabeth and Freddy compete in, and the use of such puzzles in the clues they find to try and solve the mystery.

It's fresh and different, as well as an unusual setting for a children's book - I've recently enjoyed other hotel-set novels for adults (A Gentleman in Moscow, Hotel Alpha) and found this the same. Lovely to see puzzles feature so strongly and positively.

A fine audio read as well, easy to listen to, and enthusiastically read. A book to recommend to ages 9-13 in particular.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.