Sunday, January 29, 2017

Book Review: Secret Origins by James Riley (Story Thieves #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Revelations in page turning fun
Cons: That cliffhanger!
The Bottom Line:
Tracking a father
Into a comic book world
Delightful again

I’m Letting the Secret Out – This is More Book Hopping Fun

As a kid, I used to dream I could hop into my favorite book.  You can imagine how much I’ve been enjoying the Story Thieves series since it features kids who can do just that.  Of course, my dream was always to just meet my favorite characters and experience the story, but as Bethany and Owen have learned, that’s not always a good idea.  Secret Origins is their third adventure, and things get even more complicated.

It’s been two months since Bethany last jumped into a book – any book.  It was a hard decision she and Owen had made to avoid causing any more issues in the lives of fictional characters.  She’s found it frustrating since it means she can no longer look for her father, a fictional character trapped in some book.  And it’s also made her notice a man parked across the street from her house.

Owen is sure that this mystery man isn’t watching her, but Bethany knows better.  She talks Owen into tracking the man to his home, where they make a startling discovery.  Have they stumbled on Bethany’s father?  Where will they find themselves next?

The first book in the series played around with fantasy stories, and the second took on mysteries.  This time, we spend most of our time in the world of comic books.  While I have never read comic books, I am familiar with the characters and the world they inhabit thanks to movies and TV, and so I enjoyed some of the discussion about how this new world should behave.  In fact, some of the spoofs of comic books were pretty fun.

Those who have been reading the series from the start will be delighted with the revelations we get here.  In fact, we get answers to many of the questions left over from the first couple of books here.  As a result, I really don’t recommend you jump in here.  Trust me, you’ll have such fun along the way, it’s not an issue at all.

These books are always fast moving, and this one is no exception.  I purposely kept my plot teaser very vague since this book unfolds in a delightful and fun way, and I don’t want to risk spoiling any of it.  I found myself reading longer than I should a couple of different times because I had to read just one more chapter.  There are some wicked cliffhangers along the way guaranteed to keep you reading, too.  And let’s not even talk about the cliffhanger at the end of the book.  Is the next one out yet?  Please?

Series fans will notice I’ve mostly talked about Owen and Bethany.  Yes, other characters from the series pop up, although that’s all I’m going to say.  We get some fun new characters as well, filling this book with people you want to spend time reading about.

The answer we get here will please those who have been reading the series all along.  And if you are new to the Story Thieves books, start reading them today.  You’ll be done with Secret Origins before you know it.

You'll want to jump into the rest of the Story Thieves series in order.

This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.


  1. I read the first two and this one sounds like another winner. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I've read the first two in the series, and this has been on my TBR for a long time. The fact it's more complicated is going to drive me crazy though - I'm still reeling from the second one! Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    - Vi