Saturday, April 19, 2014

The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen by Nicholas Christopher - - OPTIONAL

Christopher, Nicholas The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen, 271 pgs. Random House Children’s Books, 2014. $17.99.  Language: PG (5 swears, 0 Fs) Violence: PG;  Mature Content: PG13 (Teenage prostitution)  

14-year-old Nicholas Zen is a gifted musician with an enchanted Clarinet, but in 1714 Venice, the newly invented instrument is uncommon.  Recently orphaned, and disguised as a girl, he is admitted to the elite girl’s orchestra at the Ospedale in Venice, under the direction of Master Luca.  But, when girls start disappearing, can Nicolas keep his identity secret? 

This historical fiction is a nice travelogue of major European cities, and the action is well written and exciting, however it often gets lost in the descriptions which slows down the story, has a few anachronisms (matches in 1714?) and the magical elements feel forced.  This opened with a bang, but didn’t deliver.  

MS HS - OPTIONAL Lisa Librarian

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