Any book that makes mention of ghosts and magic will, no doubt, lead to thoughts of a famous author’s series.

But I would be doing The Mystery of Nida Valley a great injustice. The Mystery of Nida Valley not only has magic, a ghost, time-travel and prehistoric birds that can be ridden, but its own mix of originality, adventure, intrigue and villain to keep the reader turning the pages. It is also refreshing to find Australia’s prehistoric animals (mega fauna) form the basis of an adventure.  Author, Elaine Ouston, has done her research and factual information on some of Australia’s prehistoric animals is nicely embedded in the storyline.  I found this refreshing rather than just a creative mind making up new animals.

Set in Queensland (yay!), Meg Sealy, a self confident fourteen year old, comes home from school to discover her friend, Amanda, has gone missing at Millson Manor, whilst on a high school excursion. With the assistance of her cousin, Jaiden, Meg begins her own search, and the two of them fortuitously discover a hidden world. I’m not going to elaborate on the plot because I think it is exciting to have the story unravel with the turn of each page. There are many twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed till the end.

The Mystery of Nida Valley is an enjoyable read. I virtually read it in one sitting. Nicely written, descriptive passages allow the reader to be whisked away on a magical  journey to a beautiful land known as The Nida Valley.

Modern language, without going overboard, and an inkling of teenage romance, add appeal to the book’s target age group (12-16 years) as we follow the main character and her two friends on their own journey of self-discovery (in more ways than one).

The Mystery of Nida Valley should also appeal to  primary aged children who enjoy this style of genre.

I am really looking forward to Elaine’s second book in the series.

Helen Ross

Miss Helen Books

Buy the book here:

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