Death (and Further Adventures) of Silas Winterbottom: The Body Thief by Stephen M Giles
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Age Recommendation: 10+
Length: Full Length (229 pgs)
Rating: 4 Suns
Reviewed by Aloe
And you thought your family was strange.
I am dying. . . I might get the chance to know you before death takes me...I would like you to be my guest at Sommerset. . .I have enclosed a check for $ 10,000. . . Should you accept my offer...
Uncle Silas has always been greedy, evil, insulting, and extremely rich! But a dying uncle with a vast fortune is definitely one worth getting to know. Even if it means spending 2 months on his secluded island home with a houseful of suspicious servants and a hungry pet crocodile.
But what is Uncle Silas really up to? Will Adele, Milo, and Isabella outlive Uncle Silas to inherit his money? And just who is that mysterious "guest" in his basement? Is it worth the money (or their lives) to stick around and find out?
Does your Uncle have a pet alligator? None of mine did, either.
This is the story of three young cousins who live in poor households and have worries about their futures. Dear old Uncle Silas has tons of money and has invited them all to come and visit. He’s near death, perhaps they might be lucky enough to become his heirs!
This is a wickedly funny story. It reminds me of the Lemoney Snickett series, but I enjoyed this book much more.
Mr. Giles creates characters that “live” on the pages of the book you read. Her skillful writing clearly paints each scene so we are thrust right there with the children. The three cousins come from diverse backgrounds, and have the very human characteristics of greed, fear, distrust and selfishness -- they aren't perfect, and it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read. They don’t know each other, and it’s not just their Uncle who's evil.
Uncle Silas reeks of evil. He’s nice, but they know it’s just an act. He has plans for them alright, but not necessarily as his heirs. He’s ready to sic the alligator on them if they don’t do as he asks. After all, Uncle Silas has the ultimate power and authority in his home and he plans to get his way.
There are multiple adventures for the three cousins, most fraught with danger. They have no allies, so must depend on each other (which doesn’t always work out well), and they have to watch for the alligator crawling the hallways and coming out of “forbidden” rooms.
Can they band together enough to beat Uncle Silas at his own game? Just exactly what does he want them for anyway?
If you love clever fiction, get a copy of this incredibly fun book and follow along on their adventures. You’ll enjoy it. And, good news: There’s an epilogue at the end of the book that suggests there will be more coming in this series. That makes me happy. I’d like to see where the author goes from here with this story.