Publisher/ Release date: Puffin Books; May 24, 2012
Publisher/ Release date: Puffin Books; Jul 11, 2013
Synopsis: The stakes grow higher, the secrets more dangerous, and mystery and magic abound as Olive, the boys, and the cats uncover the true nature of the house on Linden Street.
Publisher/ Release date: Puffin Books; May 15, 2014
Synopsis: In this fifth and final book, Olive must seek the full, complex story of Elsewhere, its magical origins, and its creator, and in so doing, face her own fears and limitations--and possibly the destruction of Elsewhere itself. How far will Olive go to save the people and home she loves? And what will be the final cost?
Publisher/ Release date: Puffin Books; Jun 2, 2015
Series: The Books of Elsewhere (#2-#5)
Author: Jacqueline West
Illustrator: Poly Bernatene
Source/Format: Bought; Paperback
You can read each full synopsis by clicking on the respective Goodreads link.
What I Thought:
This is a series review for the last four books in the Books of Elsewhere series (Spellbound, The Second Spy, The Strangers, and Still Life). You can find my thoughts for The Shadows HERE. Each book deals with Olive discovering yet another mystery about her stone mansion, its paintings, and sometimes the cats. Between Spellbound and The Strangers, she meets some new and exciting characters that usually, inadvertently, join her on her quest.
In general, and something I realize after I finished Still Life, I enjoyed Olive’s relationships. Especially concerning her mathematician parents. On many occasions it was made known she didn’t excel at the subject for her age, yet in the few spaced out scenes that we see the whole family, they were never hard or harsh on her for it. I enjoyed this aspect since the situations and each antagonist Olive would have to deal with became more and more dire as the series went along. And many times she had to face them without her parents. However, outside of her parents and the cats, she had a support system and wasn’t alone. Pretty much throughout the series, it was always a question of how is she going to get out of this? And just when it seemed hopeless, along with her friends, she found a way through the dark, murky paint. Plus, for the last two books, it was a relief when some of her character development finally showed itself. Some of it could have come a book earlier, but it didn’t make much of a difference anyway.
Overall I loved reading the rest of The Books of Elsewhere Series. Still Life wrapped up everything in a nice blanket revealing the truth of Elsewhere and a perfect ending for the characters. Sometimes it got dark, but this depends on the reader. If it sounds interesting to you or a young reader, you may want to check it out.