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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Are you good at solving riddles? Are puzzles easy for you to figure out? Are you good at decoding, unraveling mysteries? Ethan Murphy is very clever at all of these things and more. It’s something he’s inherited from his father and his grandfather. It’s part of the Murphy gift. But, what if these riddles were a way to find buried treasure? And, what if this Murphy gift, this unique ability to solve problems – what if this was all a part of who they were? Secret agents? Spies? Perhaps, in a sense, they were. The Murphy family has been active in the ROM Agency for generations. What’s ROM? Another riddle? Perhaps, but actually, it stands for Riddles of Macrocosm Agency. Ethan wasn’t to know about it until he turned eighteen. However, things have turned dangerous and Ethan’s incredible puzzle-solving skills are desperately needed. So, at thirteen, Ethan is brought into the family business, so to speak. His father went missing years ago because of ROM and now his aunt is missing. Ethan to the rescue. At least, he hopes it’s just a matter of solving a riddle before he can return to his normal life.
Anita Mishra’s middle-grade novel, Ethan Murphy and the Quest for the Minal, is a fast-paced, action-filled adventure that will capture the imagination of young readers. Complete with some of the riddles Ethan has to solve, this is a clever spy-thrilling tale with a compelling plot that escalates at every turn. Young readers won’t be able to put this book down, as they aspire to help Ethan on his quest to solve the riddles, to solve the problems, to find his aunt, and make things right again. Ethan might appear more geek than hero, but this adventure will certainly prove otherwise. Great descriptive passages, character development, and believable dialogue – a well-constructed story overall and an exciting read.