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Review by Anniek
James is a twelve year old boy. His parents were spies and they died on a mission. Since the deaths of his parents James is living in McGrave's Hotel. He also works there as a bellhop. James learned early on that spies will always try to leave a message for their loved ones. It's been a year since his parents died and he hasn't received anything from them yet. He keeps hoping that somewhere someone will find it.
Mr. Nash, the night manager, is very fond of James. James is very mature for his age, he's still such a young child, but acts a lot more grown up. He helps the guests to their suite and is great at solving problems. I felt sad for James because he has to live in a hotel with no actual family to take care of him, but it turns out he's being taken care of incredibly well. When Death himself shows up as a guest together with his daughter, Fawn, James is immediatly drawn to this beautiful girl. Fawn will only be there for one night and this night might be one they'll never forget.
McGrave's hotel is creepy by name alone. This extraordinary hotel has gargoyles that move around, an elevator that stops at non-existing floors, coffins in the basement and a haunted wine cellar. At this hotel a lot of people check in, but not everyone checks out. The people who visit are extravagant, interesting, strange and weird. Mister Walter Quinn is a newspaperman. He's known for printing stories with sensational headlines. His promotion of McGrave's hotel is peculiar and really says it all:
NYC Hotel requires positive ID to check in. Death certificate will suffice. Spooky manor keeps
24-hour hearse on duty. Horror Hotel dares you to spend the night and LIVE.
On Steve Bryants's website I read that he founded a monthly internet magazine for magicians, this is clearly visible in McGrave's Hotel. When you're reading the story you have to let go of all logic and accept each of the magical creatures that show up on the doorstep. McGrave's Hotel is perfect for young teenagers, because it speaks to the imagination of children. What will be weird and strange for adults will make perfect sense for them. McGrave's Hotel would be a book I can picture myself reading together with my son in a few years. At McGrave's hotel you can expect the unexpected and the more you read the less unexpected everything will become. I highly recommend this book since it's a fabulous and refreshing story for all ages.
About Steve Bryant
Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction, and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
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Five winners will receive a digital copy of McGrave’s Hotel by Steve Bryant.