Tuesday, October 2, 2012
In Case You Missed It - Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
Published: Paperback May 2012
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
An adventurous debutante refuses to settle for society’s expectations—and unleashes international intrigue (and possibly an ancient curse) along the way. Agnes Wilkins is standing in front of an Egyptian mummy, about to make the first cut into the wrappings—about to unlock ancient (and not-so-ancient) history. She sees herself wearing a pith helmet with antique dust swirling around her. She sees herself as a young Egyptologist who has arrived in Cairo on camelback.
She sees herself dreaming. Because reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust even. No, Agnes’s encounter with a mummy is happening on Lord Showalter’s verdant green lawn, where butlers abound and strolling sitar players strain to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.
And a beginning. Not just of Agnes’s debut season and the ever-shrinking scope of her future—home, husband, and high society. No, something else begins as well, because the mummy Agnes unwraps is more than a mummy: It’s a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing a mystery, an international intrigue—and possibly a curse.
Before I say anything about the story itself I have to say that I'm really glad that the book cover changed for the paperback copy (on the left). The hardcover (right) looks so much younger and I would never have picked it up. That said, I'm glad I did pick it up, since it was lots of fun.
Wrapped was a wonderful romp through Regency London, with our protagonists chasing Napoleonic spies. It was atmospheric and dangerous yet full of fun. Who knew unwrapping a mummy would have such dire consequences? Agnes and Caedman (don't you just love those names?) are thrown together as they search for the answers to a puzzle that seems to date back to Ancient Egypt. I loved the ingenious ways that Agnes uses to escape from her chaperone so that she can meet Caedman to work on deciphering the clues. She has such wonderful strength of character and she is absolutely amazing with languages - she speaks 10 of them. God, I struggled with one in school and promptly forgot it when I left, so I have a great admiration for anyone who is talented that way, even if they are only characters in a book. Another thing I loved about her was her propensity to quote Austen, in several of those languages, when she gets concerned or worried about things.
Caedman was the perfect foil for her and the two of them together fit so nicely. He is charming and sweet and I loved his willingness to work out puzzles on his own time. You'll enjoy the wonderful historic details and the fabulous relationships between the characters as they unravel the mystery and find the bad guys. Great fun and a quick read. Try it if you haven't already.