'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 29 April 2019

Review: House of Heroes Book One: Hapless Hero Henrie

Born into a family of heroes – all boys, Henrie is anything but heroic.  She speaks first and thinks later. She loves using collective nouns and alliteration when she talks. And she is the first girl to be born into the House of Melchoir in 200 years.

Abandoned by her parents at birth due to her gender (that is what she believes to be true) she is brought up in hiding, by her aunt Ellie, her mum’s sister. At twelve years old, she has been told nothing about her family.

A letter arrives requesting a secret meeting regarding her family. Against all she’s been taught, she agrees. As a safeguard, she takes with her a neighbour, Alex, whom she knows nothing about. The meeting leads them to stow away on a private plane with the intention of getting closer to her family.

Alex disappears while Henrie is taken to her grandfather who relates the real story of the years past. Henrie learns that her parents, being told by her grandfather she was dead, left and were never heard of again. No detective agency could find any trace of them over the years.

Henrie’s hopes of finding her parents collapse. Grandfather dies immediately after his confession. Her uncle Caspian, determined to inherit the House of Melchoir for his two odious sons, Carter and Finn, initiates devious plans. Tradition must be preserved at all cost.

But a new will leaves the House of Heroes to Henrie and others of her family. Now Henrie is in grave danger. Ellie has followed her trail and is also threatened. And what has happened to Alex?

This is a thrilling, action-packed adventure with so many twists and turns you can barely draw breath before each situation is off in a new direction. Written in first person narrative by Henrie, she directs many quirky questions, facts and statements to the reader. Full of fun and cleverness, the prose is sharp and active like the storyline.

This scintillating first book of a series promises more drama and mystery as the search for Henrie’s parents evolves and she looks for her real place in life. I can’t wait for the next title, Henrie’s Hero Hunt.

Title: House of Heroes Book One: Hapless Hero Henrie
Author: Petra James
Illustrator: A Yi
Publisher: Walker Books, $16.99
Publication Date: 1 April 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760650834
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction