The Lost Property Office (ARC) | Book Review

Author: James R. Hannibal

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Publication Date: November 8th, 2016

Publisher: Simon & Schuster


James R. Hannibal presents a thrilling adventure through history, complete with mysteries, secret items, codes, and a touch of magic in this stunning middle grade debut.

Thirteen-year-old Jack Buckles is great at finding things. Not just a missing glove or the other sock, but things normal people have long given up on ever seeing again. If only he could find his father, who has disappeared in London without a trace.

But Jack’s father was not who he claimed to be. It turns out that he was a member of a secret society of detectives that has served the crown for centuries—and membership into the Lost Property Office is Jack’s inheritance.

Now the only way Jack will ever see his father again is if he finds what the nefarious Clockmaker is after: the Ember, which holds a secret that has been kept since the Great Fire of London. Will Jack be able to find the Ember and save his father, or will his talent for finding things fall short?


I would like to thank Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

A sort of modern day Sherlock, meets X-men, with a Kingsman-esk agency.  Jack Buckles and Gwen Kincaid are two well-crafted, entertaining and adorable characters. I believe their adventures will continue as a series and I’m excited to keep reading. The bright idea of turning a type of hypersensitivity called synesthesia, which the author suffers from, into a unique character trait that allows Jack to be a skilled tracker of past and present clues is both remarkable and helpful. It brings both fun to the story and awareness to the ‘illness.’

The necessary historical research to pull together such a fiction is very well done! For me, the most impressive thing about this work is that it is so unpredictable. The scenarios, the abilities of the characters, the problems and solutions are unique and surprising while flowing well with the story and maintaining a level of believability!

Although this book could be stand-alone, I am very excited to see what the author has coming next for the young main characters. While the pressing loose ends are tied by the end of the book, enough for the reader to be satisfied with the conclusion, there is boundless room to develop the sequel! It’s a bit steampunk, a bit adventure-mystery, a bit magical, and the pace is great for any reluctant readers who need a lot of action.

Will appeal to readers who love a good mystery “follow the clues” adventure books , but also to readers who like some steampunk and mind-magic fantasy. Although it says that it is middle school, this should not stop anyone from reading this amazing book!

-Read On Darlings!


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