The truth is. . . if you are reading this, it is too late! Now members of an unknown society in an unknown neighborhood in an unknown town, Cass and Max-Ernest’s adventure is all about the gift of sound and Cass’s oddly shaped ears. The first book in this series, The Name of This Book is Secret, is about smells, hence The Symphony of Smells. If this wonderful series of books by Pseudonymous Bosch was made into a film, this story’s beginning should start with the song ‘Secret Garden’ by Bruce Springsteen. After the first chorus of “Secret Garden,” it should fade away to the opening scene of Cass’s dream.
The story starts out with Cassandra experiencing a bad dream. She has a field trip to the tide pools, and Cass and Max-Ernest are supposed to meet Pietro, but some kids get in the way. They finally see a ship with a familiar man staring back at them. At this point in this story’s movie, “Message In a Bottle” by The Police reflects the panic the characters feel at that moment. Oh no! It is the Midnight Sun (a group of evil alchemists who are the antagonists). The crew assures them it is not really the Midnight Sun and everything is fine until they begin hearing familiar voices… Cass and Max-Ernest are once again in the Midnight Sun’s grasp.
This story engaged me from the beginning. There were many times I was expecting something to occur when just the opposite did. As was the case with the first book, I would recommend this hard-to-put-down novel for all ages. In the movie version, “Fooling Yourself” by Styx should close the film. This song shows how many times Max-Ernest and Cass made mistakes and put themselves in harm’s way but always using cleverness to overcome obstacles.
-Maya S., 6th grade