Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Serpent's Secret (MMGM review)

The Serpent's Secret
Author: Sayantani DasGupta
Scholastic Press (February 27, 2018)

It's been a while since I participated in Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, but I have a couple of books that I absolutely must share, both of them debut middle grade novels that launch series I know will be loved and anticipated by all their readers. You can read other MMGM picks linked at Greg Pattridge's MMGM page.

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish later that day and a rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories—like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess—and a wealth of secrets about her origin they've kept hidden.

To complicate matters, two crushworthy Indian princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’re here to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds...

I loved the cover of this book long before I got a chance to read it, but worried whether it would live up to the promise. Oh my gosh, does it ever. Kiran's parents seem wacky in the beginning, but as you travel with Kiran (as both you and she cling desperately on for dear life) into the magical world of this book, it turns out their stories are nothing but a pale shadow of the exciting, scary and hysterical world of snot and rakkoshes (all the rakkoshes!) she encounters as she tries to rescue them.

With riddles and puzzles and twists galore, this is a novel that will delight kids (when they can sneak the book back from their parents who will doubtless sneak it from them after they go to sleep). It is great fun to wallow in all the mythology Sayantani DasGupta throws in, and I am sure this will appeal to many due to its diversity, but most of all, it is an excellent adventure.

I strongly recommend this to kids and their parents and anybody who loves exciting adventure and a terrific sense of humor, and I can't wait for the sequel.

Five stars!

The Serpent's Secret on Amazon US

Find the rest of the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday reviews for April 9th


  1. The plot sounds like something many young readers would enjoy. A magical adventure with mythology. I've added it to my future read list. Thanks for the review.

  2. You're right about the cover! And if the book carries through with bewildering riddles and engaging twists, I'm there.

  3. Two princes ringing the doorbell?? That is very modern and intriguing. I thoroughly enjoyed your enthusiastic review of this novel. It sounds engaging with many cliff hangers. This is one I should add to my list.

  4. Great review, Ben! I just had the privilege of being a fly-on-the-wall at a kid's bookclub (where kids get arcs and then discuss books they recommend to the store's owner). The reader, Libby, apologized for having the book beyond the release date, but she too gave SERPENTS SECRET two thumbs up!

  5. I think I've seen this cover somewhere, but had no idea what the book was about. Now I can't wait to pick it up! Thanks so much for the recommendation, and so happy you were able to get back to MMGM!

  6. This cover give me the newbie-jeebies. Ack! Snakes! But maybe the story is enough to get me past the cover. Thanks for the review.

  7. I have seen this book, but this is the first review I have seen. Thanks for you insights. This sounds like one I would enjoy. I love mythology and adventure.