Monday, July 13, 2015
Blog Tour: Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
One night, after catching two rats, Serafina hears footsteps that don't belong in the basement, followed by the cries of a young girl for help. She finds the girl just in time to see a ghoulish looking man wrap the folds of his cloak around her and then…she simply disappears. But when the man comes after her, Serafina goes into fight mode and succeeds in getting away, but not before biting him. He may look like a ghoul, but he was definitely human.
The next morning Serafina decides she must go upstairs and tell someone what she saw during the night. As she listens to the Vanderbilts and their guests, she is startled when someone asks if she is lost. Braeden, 12, is the Vanderbilt's orphan nephew, living with them since his family was killed in a fire. A loner like Serafina, he is, as always, accompanied by his doberman pincher, Gidean.
It doesn't take long for the two, such opposites in the surface but so alike underneath, to become friends and decide to work together to solve the mystery of the children missing from the Vanderbilt estate. It turns out that the girl Serafina saw disappear the night before isn't the first one, nor will she be the last.
To make matters worst, someone has attacked the Dynamo, plunging Biltmore into darkness every night while Pa works long hours trying to fix it.
As their investigation goes along, and more children disappear, Serafina, who has never disobeyed her Pa, finds herself needing to know more about who she is, who her mother is, and why they must live in the basement. Knowing she is different, and not just because she has golden eyes, 4 toes on each foot and the shoulder bones don't connect, both she and the reader are in for some real surprises that I certainly didn't see coming.
Serfina begins to have a sense of urgency as she and Braeden work on solving the mystery of the missing children. realizing that the cloaked man is now after her new friend. But why? What does the Man in the Black Cloak want from the children he kidnaps and seems to consume? I suspect the answer will surprise you as much as it did me.
With Serafina and the Black Cloak, Robert Beatty has written a coming-of-age novel that will give you more than a few spine-tingling moments, more that a few shivers and that will keep you reading right up to the very satisfying ending. But it is also a story about courage, friendship, self-acceptance and trust. Both Serafina and Braeden are compelling, straightforward, well developed characters. The setting, the beautiful, palatial Biltmore estate, is as much a main character as the two friends, and Beatty has described it so well, that the reader will feel like they are as familiar with the house's interior as Serafina is. Of course, the surrounding forest, which Serafina has been warned to stay away from by her Pa and which she has always felt drawn to, adds another layer of mystery to this wonderfully gripping story.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys speculative fiction, but if you're still not sure, I think this beautiful book trailer may change your mind: