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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Gravity Thief: The Lucy Nightingale Adventure Series, Book 3 is a science fiction and fantasy novel for children and preteens written by Nancy Kunhardt Lodge. What should have been a relatively enjoyable, if mild-mannered, museum field trip turned out to be the start of another adventure for Lucy Nightingale and her best friend and fellow investigator of anomalies, Sam Winter. Lucy and her class had been to see Interior Spaces, a special exhibit at the Emily Sears Museum, but when they arrived, the museum was in a chaotic state. Lucy’s teacher, Ms. Lang, announced to the class that Jan Vermeer’s painting, Music Lesson, had been stolen from the museum during the night. She then proceeded to direct the class upstairs to see the Interior Spaces exhibit, but Lucy was determined to find out more about the theft and to see a real crime scene for herself.
Nancy Kunhardt Lodge’s The Gravity Thief is a well-written and exciting supernatural mystery. While this is the third book in the series, Lodge gives the reader enough background information for it to be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. I loved the art history aspects of the story, as Lodge has her hero go back in time to actually interact with people in Vermeer’s time. There’s also a marvelous science fiction subplot laced throughout the story. The author weaves science, science fiction, history, and fantasy into one unified and highly enjoyable adventure quest that will have many kids considering whether STEM subjects are really that awful and boring after all, and that’s a very good thing. And she does it without taking anything away from the thought-provoking and fun story she’s written here. Her characters are credible and well-defined, and her plot is imaginative and ingenious. The Gravity Thief: The Lucy Nightingale Adventure Series, Book 3 is most highly recommended.