Title: The Traveler in Black and White (Princelings of the East Book 4)
Author: Jemima Pett
Publisher: Princeling's Publications, 2012. 190 pages.
Sourece: ebook won in giveaway
Publisher's summary: "In the fourth book in the Princelings of the East series, Lord Mariusz of Hattan narrates, in his own Chandler-esque style, how he came to explore the world on the end of the time tunnel, and why he adopted the pseudonym Hugo in the first place."
The comment about "Chandler-esque" is spot on. This book is for older kids, more of a PG-13 sort of thing, though references to sex are pretty oblique and will go over the heads of younger kids. The level of violence is a bit higher than in the first three Princelings books, too. That warning out of the way, this is a very engaging story, told by a rather American Hugo, a.k.a. Mariusz of Hattan (Manhattan, anyone? Just guessing. . . .), who is trying to learn his way around a strange world and make a buck.
The story takes us back ten years in the world of the Princelings, so that the characters from the other books are much younger (a very young Victor is a total charmer), and some we have grown to love don't show up at all (like Fred and George). The story is fast-paced, adventurous, and has just a touch of the supernatural. I wasn't sure at first I liked that (just a taste thing), but Ms. Pett handles it with her usual skill, and there is nothing in the story that isn't necessary.
In a departure from the earlier books, Hugo tells his own story in the the first person, and his hard-boiled attitude lends to the fun. This is definitely not a series that is giving us cookie-cutter books, but each addition has been my new favorite, and this one was no exception.
For any readers old enough to cope with some violence and not to be put off by the implication that Hugo philanders a bit. Tweens up, with, as usual, as much or more appeal to adults as to the children.
Full Disclosure: I won The Traveler in Black and White in a giveaway, with no expectation from the writer or publisher for anything. I offer here my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."