I give Book one and Book two 4 out of 5 stars.
Synopses for all three books:
Book One – The Night Watchman Express
Miriam Pearson’s father has died. Her guardians, The Marchpanes, take over her house and her father’s company. The strong-willed girl instantly clashes with their son, Simon. The Marchpanes hire a governess, Mana, to take care of her. Mana is black, and has magic powers. She and Miriam eventually become friends. With Simon and Neil, his friend, they uncover a plot by the sinister Barbara Cantwell to use Miriam’s father’s company for evil means. Barbara is very beautiful, and at first, Simon is very attracted to her.
Once Barbara realizes that Miriam and Mana are on to her scheme, she forces the guardians to fire the governess. Mana is hustled out of the house by the Marchpanes, but Miriam, Neil and Simon follow her to the Night Watchman Express. However, Miriam and Simon are captured and put on the Night Watchman, bound for a sinister destination. Mana is loaded onto a boat headed to Big Star Island.
Neil manages to steal a boat and follow Mana’s captors to the island. A native girl, Riki, rescues him and brings him to her house. She is spoiled and her mother has no control over her, but Neil manages to become her friend. Her father forces him to stay with the family so Neil can be Riki’s companion and manage her wild behavior.
Neil learns about Atol, the king of the island, who seized power after the last monarch was killed. Atol is plotting with Barbara Cantwell to force the islands to produce drugs instead of bolemor wood, and he is also shipping his people out for use in human experiments. Neil discovers that Mana is the rightful queen of the island, and is being held by Atol. Neil and Riki manage to rescue Mana, and they head back to the mainland to look for Simon and Miriam.
Book Two – Devil’s Kitchen
Miriam and Simon are imprisoned on the Night Watchman Express, heading for the Devil’s Kitchen. It is a huge, dirty factory where the prisoners process the drug imported from the island. Simon tries to fight the guards and is hauled away to a huge, strange house belonging to Barbara Cantwell.
Miriam is forced to live in a cell and work underground under the fearsome Headmistress and Headmaster, who run the factory. Meanwhile, Mana and Neil arrive and start searching for their friends.
Simon wakes up in Barbara’s house and undergoes torture. He manages to gain her trust by pretending to be on her side. Eventually he is rescued by Mana. Miriam is about to be punished by the Headmistress and Headmaster when Mana and Simon arrive and rescues her. Barbara tries to kill Mana but is foiled by Simon.
Mana regains her kindgdom, and Miriam regains her home and future control of her father’s business.
Book Three – The Lamplighter’s Special
Miriam, Simon, Neil, and Riki reunite on Lampala for the summer holiday. They are happy to be together but wonder what has happened to Neil’s family.
Neil’s sisters, short-sighted Lizzie and beautiful Ninna, are forced to work in the Manor House to help take care of new guests.
The guest arrives, a lovely lady called Miss Wilkinsl. She and her brother have a mysterious obsession with the Crown Phoenix.
Lizzie meets Toby, the oldest son who cannot leave the attic. They become friends. Lizzie is also forced to work in Miss Cantwell’s rooms, where the dresser, Siddons, tortures her with violence and overwork. Siddons locks Lizzie in a room, and Toby finally emerges from his attic to rescue Lizzie.
Toby fixes The Crown Phoenix.They all board a ship called The Lamplighter’s Special and sail to the island. On the way, the typewriter works some strange magic and they arrive in a matter of hours instead of weeks.
Lizzie, Ninna, Toby and Priam discover there is a person hidden below deck in the boat.
Miss Cantwell takes the four children to the island and strands them there. They are rescued by Miriam, Neil, and Mana.
Miss Cantwell threatens to blow up the islands with the Crown Phoenix. She is captured. The rest return to the boat and head back to England, but Toby’s agoraphobia returns.
About the Author
Alison DeLuca grew up on an organic farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were British, so in the summers she went to stay with her grandparents near Dublin.
There was no stereo or TV there, so Alison, her sister, and her cousins spent the summer inventing stories and plays for each other. “This gave me the ability to entertain myself with my own imagination in any situation,” she says. “We used to be taken to tea with great-aunts, and we were expected to sit on an uncomfortable couch and not move or say a word. It was possible to endure it because I was watching my own little stories play out in my mind.”
After graduating from West Chester University, Alison became a teacher of English and Spanish, teaching students from kindergarten up to college level. She loved teaching, and it was with reluctance that she left the classroom to be a fulltime mom when her daughter was born.
While she was teaching and raising her daughter, Alison took every free minute she had to write. The Night Watchman Express and The Crown Phoenix Series were the result.
She is currently working on the final book in the series, as well as several other projects.
You can find Alison here:
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/alison.deluca.author
Twitter - http://twitter.com/ - !/AlisonDeLuca
Google + http://bit.ly/ADGoogle
Author Central: http://amzn.to/ADeLucaAuthorCentral
Buy The Books:
TOUR DATES -
10/15 - A Book Vacation - Review
10/16 -The Independent Review - Review
10/17 - Splash of Our Worlds - Review
10/19 - Bloggin’ As Author, Librarian, and Geek! - Review
10/20 - The Bookworm Daily - Guest Post
10/21 - Unabridged Andra - Review
10/22 - Author Interrupted - Review
10/23 - Earth’s Book Nook - Character Post
10/24 - Kayla’s Reads and Reviews - Review
10/25 - The Red Headed Bookworm - Review
10/26 - Author Interrupted - Review
10/27 - My Chaotic Ramblings - Character Interview
10/28 - Written by Brittan - Review
10/29 - Library Girl Reads and Reviews - Guest Post/Excerpt
10/30 - Lost Inside the Covers - Review
10/31 - Author Interrupted - Review
11/01 - The Roaring Mouse - Interview
11/02 - Illusions of Intimacy – Interview/Excerpt
11/03 - A Few Words - Review
11/05 - Motherhoot - Guest Post
11/06 - Fictional Candy - Character Post
11/07 – Carlie M A Cullen – Review
11/08 - Lost Inside the Covers - Review
11/09 - Window on the World - Review and Interview
11/11 - Books,Writing,Tea- Review
11/12 - Bunny’s Review - Interview/Excerpt
11/13 - Walking on Bookshelves - Character Interview
11/14 - Kara Loves Reading - Review
11/15 - Book Reviews and More - Review and Interview
11/16 - Momma Joan Explains It All - Character Post
11/17 - Wickedly Bookish -Review
11/19 - Jade Kerrion - Character Interview/Excerpt
11/20 - Split Horizons - Review and Interview
11/22 - Lost Inside the Covers - Review
11/23 - Best in Fantasy Blog - Character Post
11/24 - The Cabin Goddess - Review
11/26 - Miraculous - Review
11/27 - Workaday Reads - Review
11/28 - Alchemy of Scrawl - Review
11/29 - Stuck in Books - Guest Post
11/30 - Darlene’s Book Nook – Character/Excerpt
12/01 - The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia - Review
12/02 - Mary’s Cup of Tea - Review
12/03 - Miraculous - Review
12/04 - Reader Girls -Review
12/05 - Bee’s Knees Reviews - Review
12/06 - Reading Away the Days - Review
12/07 - Book Lover’s Hideaway - Review
12/08 - Full Moon Bites - Interview
12/09 - Sapphyria’s Book Reviews - Character Post
12/10 - Miraculous - Review
12/11 - Celtic Lady’s Reviews - Guest Post
12/12 - Night Owl Reads - Review
12/13 - Book and Movie Dimension - Review
12/14 - Jess Resides Here - Review and Excerpt
12/15 - Ali’s Bookshelf – Review
12/16 - Me and Reading - Guest Post
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from First Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”