Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Screaming Statue by Lauren Oliver

Cover image for The screaming statueSam, Pippa, Max and Thomas, the four orphan freak-show performers are back and caught up in another murder mystery.  When a old friend is murdered, and a friendly paper boy is the top suspect, our four heroes know they must do all they can to find out the truth.  But the mystery is not their only problem.  A new member to the cast, a handsome teen named Howie, is causing a rift between the four friends, the museum is daily getting closer to utter bankruptcy, and the evil Rattigan is still on the loose.  The kids are challenged with the seemingly impossible task of saving the museum, solving the mystery, avoiding Rattigan, while preserving their own friendship.

This is the sequel to Curiosity House:The Shrunken Head. The interesting relationships and setting that made the first book a best seller, are still the strongest part of this story, but I thought this book had a little problem with pacing.  Not much happens.  The kids see things, walk around and think about things, but they don't really do that much.  Pippa develops her talent for mind reading a little, but none of the others have much character development.  It is a common problem for the middle book in a trilogy (though I don't know if the author plans this to be a trilogy or longer) The author struggles to advance the story without ultimately resolving anything.  It was also mildly disappointing that, despite the title, the statue doesn't ever actually scream.  Still, I like the characters enough I will probably read the next one when it comes out. (361p.)

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