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Reviewed by Paula Tran for Readers' Favorite
Hinesh Vithal's novel National Park will entertain young and older children alike. Follow the story of Raja, a family dog from India, who goes with his owners to a National Park. Raja is plagued by nightmares of a lion every night, the family is worried and thinks that the vacation will make Raja feel better. Upon arriving at the national park, Raja and his owners quickly discover that a rhino has gone missing, and an investigation begins to unfold.
I think this novel is a very fresh, innovative, and sweet book. It takes a different perspective in mystery novels, focusing on the animals instead of the humans. Various animals in the novel, from rhinos to giraffes and to dogs, are given voices and also emotions. This gives the novel a sort of touching feeling, that the story is personal to the reader.
The characters in this story are well rounded and interestingly developed. Each animal, human, and entity has an entirely different personality. Some are humorous, some are serious, and some are playful. This makes the story dynamic, because characters are what shape the plot and story.
Plot elements develop and unfold really well in the book. There is the right amount of suspense to keep the reader interested and into the book. I like how the author includes cliffhangers at the end of some chapters. This is always something I look for in mystery novels, and I think cliffhangers should be a part of this genre of fiction/nonfiction writing. It keeps the reader wanting more.