Book Review: A Dark Inheritance by Chris D’Lacey

A Dark InheritanceA Dark Inheritance
Unicorne Files Book One
Chris D’Lacey
Scholastic Press, May 2014
ISBN 978-0-545-60876-3

Three interminable years ago Michael’s father left for a business trip, never to be heard from again. That dilemma, however; is not the strangest quandary in Michael’s life. Since his father’s disappearance, he has become aware of seemingly small, random but wacky occurrences. Being a logical kid, he was able to theorize and dismiss these happenings…..almost. Now, the incidents happen all too often, and there is truly no explanation. Assuming that the oddities and his father’s vanishing are related, Michael determinedly searches for answers.

This engrossing, brisk Book One of the Unicorne Files treats the reader with intriguing speculations such as time travel, mental telepathy, and ghosts. There are so many paths and parallels that if Mr. D’Lacey wasn’t so ridiculously gifted, the tale would look like a giant, sloppy knot. In his more than capable hands, however, it becomes an intricate, fascinating and beautiful tapestry.

Taking an extreme implausible concept; say time traveling five years into the past, and whittling it down to something more palatable, like jumping mere seconds into the future, is one way that this author could easily have any skeptic second-guessing. Setting the scenes by painting pictures with words had this reader envisioning jagged cliffs, hearing the loud crashes of a churning, belligerent sea pounding against unforgiving rocks. The sprinkling of subtle hints throughout kept me engaged and invested. Tiny twists kept me going in different directions and rethinking theories.

While this is indeed highly entertaining, it is more than just “mental popcorn”. Michael’s saga is an active adventure in which readers will quickly embrace this troubled young man and cheerfully root for him to solve the mysteries that plague him. I am already looking forward to the second book.

Reviewed by jv poore, September 2014.