18 July 2011

Vanished; Sheela Chari

VanishedVanished by Sheela Chari
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Neela wants to be a musician, and is thrilled when her grandmother sends her a veena - one that has both a History and a Curse. What's a veena? It's a stringed instrument, and in India, those made by Guru are the most prized, and Neela's is one of his. She brings it to school to show off to her class, which turns out to be a mistake: it's stolen. From there we have threats, the mystery of who (and why) it was stolen, hunting for clues, an escape from a locked room and a mad leap onto a moving train before the veena is returned to its rightful owner.

Because this is for younger readers, none of the characters are fully fleshed out, and some of the relationships seem to be a bit stereotypical. Still, that's probably not something the target audience will notice. What they will notice is that there could be more explanation of the Indian terms and culture, and less explanation of the Boston part of the adventure.

ARC provided by publisher.

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