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Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb by Ally Malinenko

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Lizzy Speare Book 1)Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb by Ally Malinenko
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

…a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert! It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!)

Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud nearly five hundred years old. Could that be why the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her? (Spoiler Alert 2—he’s the last living descendant of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s. But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlowe after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in Shakespeare’s tomb? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago?

In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic—from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters—in what is truly “an improbable fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote."

My Review:

What an exceptional idea for a book! I knew I’d like this book from the moment I read the synopsis.I was given this book to review and I’m glad I’ve read it, it’s so unique and adventurous. I would have absolutely loved this book when I was younger, as it mixes elements of Shakespeare and Marlowe with mythology. I found this book to be enlightening and educational as we hopped down the rabbit-hole, so to speak, with Lizzy and went on a mad dash to try to save her father. The villian, Dmitri Marlowe, fits great with the story line with his constant need for revenge to uphold his family name. As Lizzy learns about her past and her heritage we are taken into an ancient-old world of fates, muses and magic to find the truth and meaning behind Lizzy and the Shakespeare fortune.
      The book has a great opening, as it creates a mysterious atmosphere and urges the readers on throughout the book. The world that Malinenko creates for her readers is like a maze full of doors, each opening to something mystic and new, yet leaves space for the unexplored. I did, however, feel that there might have been too much information to wrap my head around in this one book, and probably could have been saved for the future books. This book is quite exciting and would be very comprehensible for just about all ages; Lizzy brings her cunning innocence, curiosity and devotion towards her family to make the readers root for her through the end. Lizzy Speare also leaves ample unanswered questions and mystery for her story to continue throughout other books as well. In all, this story was told wonderfully and it actually refreshed my Shakespearian interest, making me want to go out and re-read some of my favorite plays and sonnets.

First Line: “Her feet didn’t seem to touch the steps.” (5)
Last Line: “Lizzy took a deep breath, blew Sammy a silent kiss, took Jonathan’s hand and stepped into the fire.” (344)
“‘This is it. This is where everything starts. Are you ready? In my home, some doors lead to other rooms. Some doors lead nowhere at all. Some doors lead back in time. Some doors can be made to go wherever you wnt them to go, whenever you want. This door,’ he tapped a finger on the red painted wood, ‘leads to your past. Yours and yours alone.’” (40)

“‘People are creative, but they lack drive, ambition. They stray and wander. And they give up so easily, falling prey to outside distractions. A Muse is there to keep them going.’” (55)

“‘Elizabeth Shakespeare, this is your story, now. And only you can write the ending.’” (344)

Published September 12th 2012 by Antenna Books
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