Informal Review: Harper and the Sea of Secrets by Cerrie Burnell


Title: Harper and the Sea of Secrets

Author: Cerrie Burnell

IllustratorLaura Ellen Anderson

My rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads rating: 3.08/5

Genre: Fantasy

Summary (Goodreads):

The Songs of the Sea festival is about to start, but disaster has struck! The royal musicians will be performing, but all their instruments have disappeared…Harper and her friends use her flying umbrella to come to the rescue, and that very night they start hearing beautiful music coming from Melody Bay. Will they have the courage to walk along the pitch-black smugglers’ tunnels passing under the sea to find out who has stolen the instruments? A captivating adventure story all about friendship, creatures of the sea and magic. This is World Book Day UK book for 2016. 

Informal Review:


So this is going to be quite a short review as this book is less then like 80 pages and has massive font. Doing this review in my normal way would be kind of weird so I am just going to write it up in this quick way instead.

So Harper and the Sea of Secrets is a World Book Day Book and is a spin off book to the children’s book series, Harper. In this short story, Harper along with her three friends go to the City of Gulls to help save The Song of the Sea festival after the royal musicians instruments get stolen. I was kind confused at the start because all of this kind of magical stuff was happening and I was kind of ‘ooookaaay’ but then I came to the conclusion that this must be a spin off book to a series.

The whole mystery of who took the instruments was a fun one and POVs kept changing constantly so you wasn’t just in Harper’s mind all of the time. Not many plot twists and cliffhangers, this being a World Book Day book, but it managed to add some fantastical elements which I loved with made up for the lack of suspense, tension and overall mystery.

The writing was mostly quite simplistic and ordinary so not a lot of comment there but there were some moments when the author would write some lyrical sentences which really surprised me. Those sentences were very much appreciated and added to the more magical elements of the story.

All around her, stars reflected on the surf, dancing and glimmering to the tune she played: a shanty of  salt and sorrows that whispered of wonder and waves.

Harper and her friends as characters were wonderfully spirited and curious but not as developed as I would think they would be if a person was just reading this book alone, but I know that is because their persona’s and what not are already established in the series. There were some clear descriptions being given to each character though- one girl being continuous described as a cat. They were nice tags to be given to characters and were not annoyingly  even though they came up continuously in the text.

Finally, I cannot round off a review of this book without talking about the beautiful illustrations by Laura Ellen Anderson. Some a full page and really added some visual enchantment to the story.

To conclude, obviously this story isn’t targeted towards me at all and didn’t really do anything to me, thus the 3.5 stars. But I would say that I did enjoy all of the magical elements for the story and it did put a smile on my face reading about Harper and her crew unraveling a mystery.





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