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The Orphan of Torundi
J.L. McCreedy. Penelope Pipp Publishing (, $4.99 e-book (294p) ISBN 978-0-9882369-3-6
When an orphaned girl raised by missionaries on the fictional Pacific island of Torundi is sent to an American boarding school in Malaysia, mystery and intrigue pop up around every corner. Questions arise, including why 16-year-old Sam Clemens was abruptly sent away after years living on Torundi, why the enigmatic Gabe Jones is always antagonizing her, and what all of this has to do with Sam’s unknown parentage. Even as Sam delves into these mysteries, she is dealing with being around other teens and living in the big city for the first time. Unfortunately, this story wavers uncomfortably between thriller and comedy, and it doesn’t find a balance between fish-out-of-water hijinks and danger-laced adventure. Sam bounces from one problem to the next, and little time is spent developing the characters or setting—her new friends lack depth, her burgeoning romance life fails to convince, and certain plot points are predictable. Nevertheless, McCreedy (Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen) lays the groundwork for a potentially promising series, which may yet pay off down the road. Ages 12–up. (BookLife)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 01/09/2015