Reuben likes adventures. While his mother is at work, he spends his summer exploring New Umbra, although he really is supposed to stay home. Reuben has learned how to avoid notice and can hide from everyone, even the law enforcing “Directions”.
Adventurers are daring. Reuben dares to climb buildings and other high places. When he finds a magical watch hidden in a wall crevice well above street level, he thinks he has found the answer to a prayer. He and his widowed mother are very poor. If he could sell this watch, it might change their lives. He does not realize that the “Directions” and their mysterious, evil boss the “Smoke” are looking for that very watch. A kindly watchmaker and two fearless friends team-up with Reuben as he races against time to solve the mysteries behind the watch and the power that controls New Umbra.
Trenton Lee Stewart, author of The Mysterious Benedict Society, has once again written a page-turning novel that pre-teens will love. Suspense, intrigue and winsome characters keep the reader engaged. Because he never glosses over pertinent details Stewart manages to make fantasy believable. Avid readers looking for a treat this summer will not be disappointed.
Jennifer Minicus is a teacher currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.