I passed this book up many times. I was under the impression that this was some kind of horror story, the creepy looking child on the cover certainly didn't help to persuade me otherwise. It wasn't until I watched Tim Burton's movie trailer for this book that I realized that my initial impression was way off. This book is more adventure than horror and once I started reading it, I nearly finished the entire thing in one sitting.
Jacob journeys to a remote island to discover the truth about his Grandfather. He hopes to meet anyone who may still be alive from the children's home where his Grandfather claimed to have lived when he was young. I loved the mystery surrounding the old photos. Throughout the book we see old creepy photos which help tell the story. The vintage photos were all collected over the years from places such as flea markets and saved from trash heaps by collectors. The author was able to take these photos and weave them into a uniquely captivating story.
All the children in the photos have their own peculiarities. There's an invisible boy, a girl who floats, a child holding up a very large boulder with one hand. It's all very strange and mysterious. I enjoyed all the scenes with Jacob exploring the island and the old ruins of the children's home. Even after the mystery is solved there is still plenty of action and adventure.
I can understand how some readers would be disappointed thinking the creep factor of the story will measure up to the photos, due to the way the book is presented. If you're looking for a spine chilling story that will keep you up at night, this isn't it. It does have monsters, children with all types of abilities, a teacher who can transform into a bird and all sorts of other peculiarities. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.