Friday, May 13, 2011

Book review: The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch

My summary:
During the summer of 1903 five young inventor and their families is transported from their home by some mysterious men in black. Once they arrive in Dayton, USA, the children are all taken from their parents and each of them is taken to their separate new homes, on the same street. Lucky, Jasper, Wallace, Noah and Faye doesn't understand why they have been left there, where are their parents and why are the men in black always out on patrol? Are the children prisoners and have their parents been kidnapped? To pass the time and perhaps create something that might save their parents the children starts inventing an object that will change our world forever. 

My thoughts:
The Atomic Weight of Secrets was a sweet story and a nice beginning to a series. I was interested in the story from page one but the middle section was a bit too slow for my liking, we got to know how the story began for each of the young inventors. I felt this information could have been implemented better in some other way, perhaps by small flashbacks? It was a little too much to flesh their stories out over so many pages. I think a young reader might struggle to keep their attention span for so long when I struggled. When I hit page 200 the story picked up again and I found myself drawn into the story again.

The characters were nicely developed and I enjoyed reading about each and everyone of the children. My favorite character was a six year old girl named Lucy, she kind of reminded me of Roald Dahls lovely character named Matilda.

Each chapter began with cute little pictures that had some relation  to the chapter.

The story sometimes reminded me a little of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, it might have something to do with the bad guy or just the overall feel of the story. I'm not quite sure I can explain why I felt that.

The Atomic Weight of Secrets includes an interesting, and may I add well kept secret, of one of the greatest inventions of our time.

A minor warning: Make sure you read this book on a full stomach, there is always some lovely food around in this story and it will lead to cravings on the readers part ;)

Book trailer:

The cover:
I think it's great, the only thing I don't understand is why there's a face on the cover. I also appreciate that there actally is something under the dustjacket:

The secret underneath.
My rating of this book:
3.5 stars out of 5

Want a second opinion? Check out these reviews written by some of my book blogging friends:

Want to know more?
Add The Atomic Weight of Secrets to your Goodreads wish list.

The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Men in Black av Eden Unger Bowditchby Eden Unger Bowditch
Published: March 15th 2011
Pages(hardcover): 339
Publisher: Bancroft Press
ISBN: 1610880021 (ISBN13: 9781610880022)
Full disclosure: 
Review copy provided from the publisher for honest review. 

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and on-line book stores such as Amazon or The Book Depository (I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store does by the way have free shipping to about 100 countries.


  1. Sounds like a cute story! Good to know that despite the lag in the middle it does pick up again at the end and draw you back into the story. Love the cover!

  2. It seems that it's popular to have faces on book covers no matter what:)

  3. It certainly reminded you of things, hm...and made you hungry. I do like books like that

  4. @Jenny Yes, and the cover is unique I think.

    @Book Reviews From The Basement Yeah, I know. I'm not too keen on faces on covers really.

    @Bloddeuedd I do too but it can be bad with all those calories LOL

  5. I haven't heard of this book, but it sounds interesting. Nice review.

  6. I don't like faces on book covers either. It ruins the imagionation somehow. I want to picture the characters myself in my mind while I'm reading:)

  7. Sounds like a good book. Amazon says the reading level is YA, but the characters are 12/13 y.o....Is it too scary for kids this age to read?

  8. Comparing the book to Unfortunate Events and a character to Dahl's Matilda really raises my curiosity!!! Thanks for the great review!

  9. Interesting. Thanks for the review.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)