Friday, May 30, 2008

Review of Curse of the Bayou, by Mary Cunningham




Curse of the Bayou (3rd book in the Cynthia’s Attic series)
by Mary Cunningham
Echelon Press
ISBN: 1-59080-575-5
Copyright 2008
Paperback, 160 pages, $9.99
Middle-grade, Fantasy/Mystery

Reviewed by Mayra Calvani

More time travel, magic, and adventure await young readers in this the 3rd book of Cunningham’s Cynthia’s Attic series: Curse of the Bayou. This time our tween travelers, Gus and Cynthia, go back in time as far back as 1844 to the Louisiana bayou in order to solve the mystery of Cynthia’s great-grandfather Beau Connor’s disappearance.

Twelve-year old Gus and Cynthia are nothing short of ordinary. For one thing, they are able to travel back and forth in time by way of Cynthia’s old trunk, situated in the cobweb-filled attic of an old mansion. Despite the fact that they’re so different, they’re also super best friends. In this installment, the girls must go back in time to find out what really happened to Beau Connor and the reason why he vanished while on a business trip. If you think the intrepid duo has been in danger before, hold your breath for Curse of the Bayou: treacherous Louisiana swamps, man-eating alligators, shape-shifting pumas, and evil pirates are some of the delicious surprises the reader will encounter.

I have read all of Cunningham’s books so far and I have to say this is the best. I especially loved the ‘Southern’ atmosphere in this book, the threatening setting of the swamps and humid Louisiana climate. Each chapter is filled with mystery and adventure and ends with an exciting cliffhanger. The pace is quick and the chapters short, adding to the suspense. I also found the dialogue between Gus and Cynthia a lot funnier and wittier in this book. Some of their wisecracks are really clever. Cunningham keeps the reader guessing by switching back and forth in time. For this reason I would say that although this is a middle-grade book, it could be confusing if not read with full attention. This is a book that will appeal to most young girls, especially to those who love stories about best friends and adventure/mystery with a dash of fantasy.
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