Kids who are itching for a
boarding-school-set fantasy-adventure in between visits to Hogwarts
might pleasantly pass the time reading this quirky tale, which is
narrated with panache and a tone of childlike curiosity by Roy. When an
ad reading "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"
appears in a local paper, it's hard for many children to resist. But
only four out of dozens pass the rigorous mind-bending tests that prove
they are special and talented enough to undertake a mysterious mission
at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened (as assigned by
narcoleptic benefactor Mr. Benedict). Reynie, Kate, Sticky and
Constance band together using their unique gifts (be it for
photographic memory, puzzle-solving or acrobatics) to uncover the
dastardly plot of the Learning Institute's founder, Ledroptha Curtain.
Roy's voice, masculine and scratchy, but able to reach a youthful high
pitch, is an enjoyable companion for the four protagonist's exploits.
Though some of Mr. Curtain's plans sound preposterously convoluted,
they are humorously so.And it all wraps up nicely
by the end.