Publication Date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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 really liked the cover to this one, and I picked it up for that reason alone. The jacket blurb and author bio then piqued my interest sufficiently to read the novel.
The main character, Jack, has synesthesia, a legitimate neurological condition that causes crossover in the senses. Tastes are perceived as colors, and smells as feelings, etc. In Jack’s case it leads to sensory overload, which he must learn to control if he is to find his missing father.
When he stumbles upon the Lost Property Office, he meets Gwen, a young apprentice clerk in a secret organization and discovers that he has amazing abilities. Jack can “spark” or see glimpses of the past by touching minerals in the surrounding environment. Full of history, secret organizations, and adventure, The Lost Property Office is reminiscent of the movie National Treasure.
It is well written and fast paced, even if the plot was a little predictable. I had really high hopes for this story, and while it was a good book, it didn’t quite deliver all I had hoped for.