"When the covers were finally lifted, a feast of kingly proportions was revealed: a roasted goose, its flesh a perfect golden brown; a whole salmon and a whole cod, each outfitted with lemons and fresh dill and pats of melting butter; a bowl of steamed mussles; platters of roasted vegetables; loaves of bread still cooling from the oven; and all manners of jellies and sauces I didn't recognize but that looked delicious."
All in all, most of us greatly enjoyed the book and in particular, we enjoyed the experience of the peculiar photographs which somehow seemed to provide "credence" to this fantastical story. For the most part, we were able to suspend our disbelief to enjoy the story as it unfolded, through time loops and suspended aging, though some of us were trying to make sense of some of the inconsistencies present regarding the characters across the time loops.
Each of us agreed that the setting of the "children's home" and the accompanying foggy weather created a great story line and added suspense and uneasiness to Jacob's initial visit, not to mention all that was present inside the ruins of the bombed home.
We each had some peculiar children that we particularly liked, and this led our discussion to what it might be like to possess any/one of these "powers." Though we all agreed that any "power" would only be favourable to us if we could choose when it came and went, versus having a "power" indefinitely.
Overall, we would recommend this book to others, and a few books were passed around on loan for some of the teen/tweens in our families, as this book is described by some as a "classic quest story" whereby Jacob undertakes a difficult journey and is transformed in the process.
Several of us are looking forward to the second book in this series, "Hollow City" and it was recommended as a possible book choice for next October.