Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Nancy Drew Mystery of the Seven Keys Game + Nancy Drew Action Figures and Novella

Her Interactive has announced that its 34th game, Mystery of the Seven Keys, will be released on May 7.

View the game trailer

The game will be available via download on May 7.  Her Interactive is working on a plan to offer a limited number of physical copies.

Physical copy information

One year ago, Wandering Planet Toys ran a Kickstarter campaign for Nancy Drew action figures.  I wrote two blog posts about the campaign.

Nancy Drew Action Figures Kickstarter

Last Chance for the Kickstarter

I wrote the second post as the Kickstarter neared the end.  I wanted to give people a warning about the campaign's end in hope that a few people who missed the previous notice would see it.  On Facebook immediately after the campaign was announced as over, multiple people expressed disappointment that they had missed it.  It's easy to miss something like this.

The Kickstarter was for the Nancy Drew action figures plus some extra collectible items, including an action figure stand and a limited edition novella.

This is the stand:

This is the novella:

The action figures have been made, and the novella has been printed.  Orders will ship soon.

Here's the link to a video showing the novella.

Nancy Drew novella unboxing

Now, if you're reading this and are dismayed that you missed out, don't despair.  There should be some leftover action figures that will be sold online.  I don't know how limited the quantity will be.  If you aren't able to get any of the leftover figures once they are available, some of the backers purchased extras. 

I don't think I purchased extra action figures, but I did purchase one of every variation.  I'm not sure if I will keep everything.

The novella will not be offered in stores and was a one-off print run.  No more copies will be printed.  But still, there's no need to despair!  I purchased extra novellas, and I'm certain that others did as well.  I considered it important to order extra novellas since the only copies that would ever be printed would be for the pre-orders.  With extras purchased, more copies exist and collectors who missed out on the Kickstarter will have a greater chance of acquiring one.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Keeper of the Lost Cities #9.5 Unraveled Cover Release

Keeper of the Lost Cities #9.5 Unraveled will be released on November 12, 2024.  This book serves the same purpose as #8.5 Unlocked.  The Keeper books are told solely from Sophie's point of view.  We never hear the thoughts of other characters, and we never learn any information that Sophie doesn't know.  If you think about it, this is why the plots of the later books seem convoluted and are difficult to understand at first.  We only know what Sophie knows.  And there's an awful lot that she doesn't know.

In #8.5 Unlocked, the POV switches between Sophie and Keefe in alternating chapters.  We were given Keefe's POV since we needed to know what he was experiencing.  #9.5 Unraveled covers Keefe's time in the Forbidden Cities and is told solely from Keefe's POV. 

This is what Shannon Messenger told us about the book in her video announcement:

"Unraveled is a super super super important piece of the story that I thought I was going to fit into book 9, but as I was working on book 9, it just didn't fit.  And so I thought, no worries, I'll write it into book 10.  But as I've been working on book 10, it just didn't belong in there either.  And I was starting to get really nervous like, what am I going to dothis is very crucial information.  Readers need this to understand the story.

I finally realized that the reason it wasn't fitting is because we need to read it through a different character's point of view...  Yes, Unraveled is an entire book told through Keefe's POV...  It starts at the end of Unlocked where Keefe makes that rather dramatic decision and leaves that note for Sophie telling her what he's doing.  And then it covers all of that time that he's missing from Stellarlune...  He was doing a lot of very very important things. And you're going to get to read about all of them and live them with him through his POV in real time.  And think about it, this is Keefe in our world experiencing human things!

Here's the publisher's summary:

The past and present unravel into staggering truths in this can't-miss installment of the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series told entirely from Keefe’s point of view.

Please be careful.  Please be happy.  And PLEASE forget all about me.  It'll be better for everyone that way.

Those were the last words Keefe Sencen wrote to Sophie Foster before he ran away to the Forbidden Cities.  He didn't want to leave, but it was the only way to keep his friends safe while he figured out how to control his scary new powers and searched for answers about his past.

What he found was so much more than adventures in Humanland.

Where did he go?  What did he do?  And who did he meet while the rest of his friends worked to solve the mystery of Stellarlune?  The answers go far beyond anything anyone could have ever imagined and give Keefe the power to change his destiny.

When I saw the cover, I thought, Who is the guy in the hoodie?  

Shannon Messenger addressed the cover art style in a Facebook post:

I seriously love this cover SO MUCH.  I know it's a different feel for a KEEPER cover, but that's the point.  We wanted to make sure you could immediately tell that you were getting something a little unexpected with UNRAVELED.  So there's no fantastical setting.  Keefe's here in our world, after all.  And since this book is in his POV, it's just him standing there facing us, looking a little unsure if he wants us to know what he's up to.  It's not just a moment; it's a MOOD—with a few hints of what you're going to learn in his story (notice the figure watching him??? dun dun DUNNNN).  But if it feels like it gives away a little less than the other covers, that's also intentional.  Keefe is extra cautious in this story, so we want it to feel as mysterious as it should.

I'm looking forward to this next installment in the series.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Keeper of the Lost Cities #2 Exile First Printing with a Surprise

I am on a mission to complete a set of Keeper of the Lost Cities hardcover books in true first printings.  Books 5 and up are easy to find in first printings.  Book 4 is slightly harder but still pretty easy to find.  Book 3 is more scarce than book 4.  Book 2 even more difficult, and book 1 is the most difficult one to find.

I remember a Shannon Messenger interview where she mentioned having a book signing when her first book was released.  She sat there with her stack of books, and nobody showed up.  The series was slow to gain a following.  My understanding is that people became fans through word of mouth.  They told their friends, and gradually more people began reading the books.

It's a given that the first Keeper book is the hardest one to find in a first printing.  One big obstacle is that more than 90% of online listings for Keeper books use stock photos.  There's no way to look at the appearance of a book to get an idea of which ones could be first printings.  

The early printings of the first five books are very easy to spot if the seller has photographed the book.  The series hit the New York Times bestseller list for the first time sometime after the release of book 5.  First and early printings of books 1 through 5 do not have the blurb "New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Series" along the top edge of the front cover.

So, I've been perusing the listings that don't use stock photos in order to locate possible first printings.  I quickly found #4 and #5.  #3 took a bit longer, but I acquired it in early April. 

I also managed to snag the second printing of the first book.  I'm pretty proud of it, since the second printing was run before publication of the first book and right after the first printing was run.  It's kind of weird that the first book had two print runs before it was even released.  I surmise that there were enough pre-orders from stores that Simon &Shuster needed to do another run.  This also indicates that the very first printing was probably rather small.

I looked even harder through listings in mid-April.  I found a listing for #2 Exile that didn't have the NYT blurb on the front cover.  Since I didn't yet have any copy of #2 without the blurb, I decided it was worth purchasing even if it wasn't the first printing.  It was also pretty cheap.

The book arrived on Monday.  I extracted it from the box and immediately opened the book to the copyright page.  I was beyond thrilled when I saw the full number line, 24681097531.  Woo-hoooooo!  It was late, and I set the book aside without examining it carefully.

On Tuesday evening I decided to look at the copyright page again.  I was laser-focused on the number line, the printing date, and the publication date as I looked at the page for the second time.  When I am laser-focused on certain details, I miss other things that should be obvious.  That means there's something to notice in this photo.  (Click on the image in order to see it at a higher resolution.)

I checked the number line again, 24681097531, and then I looked for the printing date, which is near the end of the line immediately above the number line.  I found 0813, which means August 2013.  I knew that the first printing would have been run before publication.  I looked higher on the page and found the copyright of 2013.  I then located the publication date of October 2013 on the line above the copyright.  Everything tallied.

I then glanced up at the dedication where Liesa Abrams Mignogna is in bold.  That's when I saw what is now obvious.  Just above the name, I could see that writing was present on the other side of the page, and it was a name.  

I very quickly reached a conclusion in just seconds.  "Someone wrote their name on the title page—SHANNON MESSENGER PROBABLY SIGNED THIS BOOK BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE SHE PUTS THE RECIPIENT'S NAME!!!!!!"

I turned the page over to the front.

How perfect!  I have a signed copy of the first printing of the second Keeper book.  There probably aren't many first printings of the first two books that are also signed by Messenger.

Shannon Messenger's signature has changed greatly in the last 12 years.  In around 2018 she changed to a fast signature with most letters unformed.  Her series is now rather popular, so she must sign a ton of books.

This is what her signature looks like now.

I am absolutely confident that both versions are authentic signatures.  I have seen the earlier version with all letters formed in multiple online listings.  I also have some promotional stuff from around 2018 with all letters formed.  I have a set of books that are all signed with the later style.  Those signatures are guaranteed authentic because they came from the bookstore mentioned on Messenger's Facebook as the place where she had just signed a bunch of books.

Here's a comparison of the 2013 Exile cover to the signed copy that I purchased last year.  The book purchased last year was printed in 2022.

The newer copy is brighter with more detail visible.  The older copy has a cleaner look, since it's missing the NYT blurb and Messenger's name is smaller.  I prefer the covers that don't have the NYT blurb, but I like the additional detail seen in the newer cover.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Dana Girls #4 A Three-Cornered Mystery Glossy Internal Illustrations

The early Dana Girls books have glossy internal illustrations.

Click on each image in order to see it at a higher resolution.

Glossy frontispiece used from 1934 to 1942:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Friday, April 19, 2024

Nancy Drew Diaries #25 What Disappears in Vegas...

In Nancy Drew Diaries #25, What Disappears in Vegas..., Bess and George's cousin Veronica is getting married to extreme sports enthusiast Xavier Redd, and as a close friend of the family, Nancy has been invited to the wedding.  Given the groom's big personality and love for the extreme, the wedding will take place in Vegas, and the couple plan to take advantage of local sporting opportunities in the week leading up to the big event.

Not everyone in the family approves of Veronica's fiancĂ©, though, especially because of the risk-taking behavior Xavier has introduced her to.  And when one of the couple's sporting stunts almost ends in a serious accident, it's not clear whether it’s an unfortunate coincidence or whether someone really wants to stop the wedding from happening.

Still, the day of the wedding arrives.  But when it comes time to exchange vows, the bride is nowhere to be seen.  Is this just a case of cold feet?  Or has one of the wedding guests created a cold-hearted plot?  One thing’s for sure—Nancy won't rest until she finds out.

The above summary was provided by the publisher.  I find it curious that the publisher's summary makes the plot sound like sabotage.  We joked about it last year when the summary was first released.

On June 14, 2023, I wrote this:

Nancy Drew Diaries #25, What Disappears in Vegas..., will be published early next year.  The synopsis begins, "Bess and George's cousin Veronica is getting married..."  STOP!  Allow me to guess.  The wedding isn't going as planned.  Could it be sabotage?  Surely not, right?  But if it is, Nancy will find out! 

Just about every Nancy Drew Diaries book is sabotage, so having the summary indicate that this story is sabotage is kind of funny, since it continues the trend.  The odd thing is... this book is not sabotage.  Why make it sound like sabotage?

Before I decided to use the publisher's summary, I wrote my own brief summary.  Here is mine:

Nancy and her friends travel to Las Vegas for the wedding of Veronica and Xavier.  Veronica is Bess and George's cousin, and Bess will be one of the bridesmaids.  Xavier owns Redd Zone, an extreme-sports complex in Chicago.  All of the wedding events include extreme sports like BASE jumping, and Xavier films everything for social media.  After an accident during one of the sports stunts, Veronica mysteriously disappears.  Nancy and her friends search for clues.

This book has way too much exposition.  The plot is mostly exposition up until page 70 when the suspense and mystery finally begins.  The disappearance does not occur until page 99.  I read these books to see what they are doing with Nancy Drew, and I will read the book regardless of whether it is good or bad.  In this case, I was mostly bored with the story until page 65.  When I reached page 65, I made this note to myself:  "finally, some tension on page 65."

I was still a little bored with the story between pages 70 and 99.  From page 99 on, I was interested and engaged.  The story is 255 pages long.  This means that I was nearly 40% through the book before I was interested in the plot.  The reason Nancy Drew has been successful for over 90 years is because the plots have always started off fast.  The readers get hooked by an interesting plot within the first chapter, often on the very first page.  Instead, this book starts very slow and plods along until the mystery begins.

The book also has too many characters.  I had trouble keeping track of them.  It's not necessary to give the reader the names of everyone who comes in contact with Nancy.  For instance, we don't need to know that the cab driver is named Mario.

I'm a little bewildered that Bess is described on page 1 as liking to "drive fast, take risks, and ride every roller coaster in a hundred-mile radius."  On page 7, Nancy thinks to herself, "Sometimes it's hard, loving a daredevil."

I correctly deduced the culprit early in the story, long before the story becomes interesting.  It's fairly easy to figure most of these books out.  

These books tend to describe technology in an awkward fashion.  From page 140:

I scrolled down through the list of messages, looking for the little paper clip icon that denotes an attachment.

I feel like the text should simply have stated, "I scrolled down through the list of messages looking for an attachment."  I felt like I was reading a book from more than 25 years ago.  Books from back then always had awkward explanations of technology. 

A passage on page 157 gave me pause.

George looked at the assembled crowd.  "I wouldn't say Macy's," she said.  "I'd say more... JCPenney?  Sears?"

That was where I stopped.  My reaction was, "That's odd to mention Sears..."  I then saw the next line.

Bess frowned at her.  "Sears doesn't exist anymore, George," she said.  "Anyway, what are you getting at?"

"I'm trying to think of places my grandma shops," George replied.

Ah, I see.  When my local Sears store closed in 2017, I went by one time to see if there were any good deals (there weren't).  All of the customers were using walkers or wheelchairs or were walking very slowly.  Most were extremely elderly.  It was a sad and depressing experience.  

I rate this book as overall good.  It is kind of boring, during the first part of the book, and then very good later in the story.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

eBay's International Shipping Program

eBay's international shipping program makes international shipping much easier for sellers, who don't have to figure the shipping costs.  eBay also assumes all the liability, so this increases the likelihood that an eBay seller will be willing to ship internationally.  It can also save the buyer some money.  This is a win-win situation.  

Currently, eBay's program does not offer combined shipping.  If you are an international buyer and want to purchase multiple items from a seller, ask the seller to put them in one listing.  For instance, I had a buyer from the UK wish to purchase two Sweet Valley High books.  eBay was going to force the buyer to pay twice for shipping.  I created a listing with both books included, and this cut the buyer's shipping charge in half.  I didn't have to do anything special except place the two books in the one listing.

Every so often, an international buyer feels that eBay's shipping charge is too high and wants to negotiate with me.  Each time I receive an request like this, I play along but know immediately how the situation will unfold from start to finish.  Spoiler:  The buyer ultimately will decline to make the purchase because the shipping is too high.

I recently had an inquiry about this bulk lot of blue tweed Nancy Drew books that are in rough shape.

The bulk lot was priced at $59.99 with free shipping to United States addresses.  When I price these bulk lots, I am always giving the books away at cost or at a slight loss.  My expenses include the cost of the books, the shipping cost, the packaging cost, and eBay's fees.  All that combined meant that I was taking around a $5.00 loss on this lot at my price of $59.99.  I have no room for negotiation since I'm already taking a loss.  I seldom explain any of this to potential buyers, since it's irrelevant and doesn't impact them.

I would rather sell the books at a slight loss and send them to someone who wants them than drop them off at a thrift store.  I would get nothing if I were to do that, and I also would risk the books getting thrown away.  The books and I are both better off if I sell them at a slight loss.

An international buyer contacted me, offering me $70 including postage cost.  I didn't respond, for several reasons.  I don't accept offers, and I could not possibly accept just $70 including international postage costs.  I also didn't know what the buyer was seeing on their end, so I didn't have enough information to know what their costs were going to be.

The buyer then sent me another message, to which I replied:  "I never see what eBay charges for international postage, so I have no point of reference.  I don't know what I would need to take off of my price to get the total to be $70.00.  I suspect that the amount is higher than what I can do, but I have no way of knowing since I don't know what eBay's international postage charges are.  They hide it from us."

The buyer's response (paraphrased) observed that eBay makes money off of us sellers and that they would rather the money go directly to me.  They wanted me to avoid eBay's international shipping program so that I could figure the shipping myself and pay for the label directly.

Even if the money for shipping were paid to me instead of to eBay, I still would never see it.  I have to pay for the postage label which takes all of the funds.  Also, it should be noted that I pay fees on shipping, so I would then pay fees on the high international shipping charge.  If I charge directly for shipping instead of using eBay's international shipping program, then my eBay fees are much higher.  This isn't beneficial to me.

As I already stated, I knew that this wouldn't result in a sale.  Nevertheless, I retrieved the stack of books and weighed them.  I figured out the postage cost and added $18 to it to cover the eBay fees on the postage.  Since I was already taking a loss on the lot, I wasn't about to add $18 to my loss.  

I wrote in response:  "I doubt it will be cheaper for me to pay the postage directly.  I figured the postage, and my cost is $135.00 to mail the books.  This would make the total $194.99.  We are no longer able to use surface mail.  I have to use priority mail international."

I have no idea what eBay's international shipping was going to charge the buyer.  However, it was apparent by the buyer's reaction that what I quoted was even worse.  The buyer declined to proceed.  

So, eBay's international shipping does save the buyer money, besides being easier for the seller.  

Monday, April 15, 2024

Dana Girls #3 In the Shadow of the Tower Glossy Internal Illustrations

The early Dana Girls books have glossy internal illustrations.

Click on each image in order to see it at a higher resolution.

Glossy frontispiece used from 1934 to 1942:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Last to Die by Kelly Garrett

The Last to Die by Kelly Garrett was published by Sourcebooks Fire on November 5, 2019.

Publisher's summary:

What started as a game turns into something much darker in this fast-paced YA thriller with a plot to die for, perfect for fans of Natasha Preston and Hannah Jayne.

Harper Jacobs and her friends are just looking for some fun when they decide to start breaking into one another's houses.  It's enough to give them a rush, and it's pretty harmless since they all promise not to take anything that can't be replaced.  But when they target the home of a classmate, it crosses a line, and one of the group turns up dead.

Harper needs to figure out what's happening fast…or else she might be next.

I found the early part of the book to be extremely interesting.  After Harper's friend dies, the plot seems to stall.  The story is not very interesting for a large chunk of the book.  Towards the climax, the story becomes interesting again, but not nearly as much as the beginning of the story.  This book is just okay.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Dana Girls #2 The Secret at Lone Tree Cottage Glossy Internal Illustrations

The early Dana Girls books have glossy internal illustrations.

Click on each image in order to see it at a higher resolution.

Glossy frontispiece used from 1934 to 1942:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Monday, April 8, 2024

Don't Let In the Cold by Keely Parrack

Don't Let In the Cold by Keely Parrack was published on September 6, 2022 by Sourcebooks Fire.

Publisher's summary:

A claustrophobic, high-stakes thriller that will have you fearing what waits out in the cold.

It was supposed to be just one night in the cabin: one night for Lottie and her brand new stepsister, Jade, to try to get along. When a solar flare causes a massive blackout—no power or cell signal—Lottie knows they've got a long night ahead of them.

Then, in the dark, someone else shows up at the cabin—a stranger named Alex, claiming to be lost and needing shelter from the coming snowstorm.  But later that night, Lottie spies him in the driveway talking to two mysterious men in a pickup truck, and she's sure he's lying about why he's here.

Before Lottie can find out more, a fire forces her, Jade, and Alex out into the blizzard, where they must rely on one another to get to safety—wherever that is.  In the remote, freezing Tahoe wilderness, they have to survive more than just the elements.  Soon it becomes clear that Alex's accomplices are hunting for all three of them, in a scheme that's gone too far and taken a chilling, deadly turn.

Lottie, Jade, and Alex end up on the run in a blizzard near Lake Tahoe.  Two men are out to get them for some reason, and they must survive the cold while staying away from their enemies.  

The book is harrowing and suspenseful, but it's also a story of personal growth.  Lottie and Jade intensely dislike each other since they don't want to be stepsisters.  Lottie also despises Alex, since she has good reason not to trust him.  These three young people are forced into the wilderness in a blizzard and must work together.  The best part of the story is seeing how the three teens gradually come together through adversity and learn to respect and even care about each other.  It's beautiful.

This is an excellent book.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Dana Girls #1 By the Light of the Study Lamp Glossy Internal Illustrations

The early Dana Girls books have glossy internal illustrations.

Click on each image in order to see it at a higher resolution.

Glossy frontispiece used from 1934 to 1942:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used from 1934 to 1937:

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Swarm by Jennifer D. Lyle

Swarm by Jennifer D. Lyle was published on November 7, 2023, by Sourcebooks Fire.

Publisher's summary:

On a sunny September morning, the creatures first appear.  Shur sees one of them hovering outside the window in history class: it looks like a giant butterfly, at first too beautiful and strange to seem like a threat.  But when emergency alerts light up everyone's phones around her, she realizes something very, very wrong is happening outside.  These… things are everywhere.

By the time Shur makes it back to her house with her brother, Keene, and their two best friends, it's clear they must face whatever comes next on their own.  A terrifying species the world's never seen before has suddenly emerged, and few living things are safe.  As the creatures swarm and attack outside, life for Shur and her friends becomes a survival game.  They board the windows, stockpile supplies, and try to make sense of the news reports for as long as the power stays on.

Yet nothing can prepare them for what follows.  The butterflies are only the beginning.  The next onslaught will be deadlier, and even closer to home.

This story is quite reminiscent of the Covid-19 pandemic.  After the huge butterflies appear and begin attacking, Shur and Keene pick up their brother, Little, from daycare.  Their friends Nathan and Jenny are also with them.  The group of four teenagers and four-year-old Little escape to Shur, Keene, and Little's home.  They end up trapped in their home for the entire story.  The story clearly mimics the lockdown phase of the pandemic.

There are also some references to how people react to the swarm, and the reactions also mimic how people reacted to the pandemic.  

This is an excellent story, and I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Keeper of the Lost Cities: The Chronological Order of the Forgotten Secrets

Here are my previous posts on the Forgotten Secrets.    

The Forgotten Secrets
More on the Forgotten Secrets

This post contains MAJOR SERIES SPOILERS.  Stop reading NOW if you have not already read all of the books including #8.5 and #9.


I started thinking about the chronological order of the Forgotten Secrets after reading a post on Reddit that pointed out an inconsistency.  Sophie, Dex, and Oralie view the Forgotten Secrets in random order based on which color crystal they select. 

We know for certain that the secret with Bronte, Kenric, and the dead gnome comes first chronologically.  This is because Kenric's hair is in a ponytail, and the event occurs before Oralie becomes a Councillor.

If we go by what is stated in Stellarlune, then Kenric and Prentice in Kenric's library comes last chronologically.

Kenric and Prentice in Kenric's library

Stellarlune, Page 251:   He just held up the cache and studied the glints of color.  There were only six secrets at that point.  The blue crystal was missing—which made sense, since it was the memory they were currently watching.

This is impossible, however, since the memory cannot be the final one saved.  Kenric mentions Prentice's exile in one of the other secrets.  Prentice was exiled after Kenric recruited him as Keeper.

Kenric and Oralie questioning Fintan about stellarlune/
Kenric reveals to Oralie that he knows about Project Moonlark

Unlocked, Page 531:   "I saw how upset you were when Prentice was exiled.  And I saw the look on your face when Alden brought us that strand of DNA."

The secret presented in Unlocked must come after the secret from Kenric's library, even though the secret from Kenric's library was supposedly saved last.  This does appear to be a plot inconsistency.  However, Kenric is a tricky fellow.  Perhaps Kenric figured out a way to remove secrets that he had already placed in his cache.  This would allow for more secrets to be saved after the one with Prentice in the library, resulting in the seven secrets.

Here I give what I think is the true chronological order of the Forgotten Secrets.  I have included a few new observations I made on this rereading of the Forgotten Secrets.  I also have included the colors of the crystals, since the colors used must have meaning.

1st:  Bronte and Kenric dealing with a dead gnome (green crystal)

This one must come first because Kenric's hair is long and in a ponytail.  He cut it short after Oralie became a Councillor and made fun of it.

Kenric and Oralie arguing in Kenric's readying room (red crystal)

This secret is from Oralie's first-year-as-Councillor celebration.  Kenric's hair is short in this secret.  Kenric and Oralie don't get along at all.

3rd:  Kenric requesting a matchmaker give him the hypothetical match lists for himself and Oralie (pink crystal)

Kenric is now in love with Oralie.  In this memory, he makes sure that number one matches will provide the DNA for Project Moonlark. 

Kenric and Prentice in Kenric's library (blue crystal)

Kenric ostensibly asks Prentice to be his personal Keeper, although he is actually recruiting Prentice to be the Keeper of the Black Swan.  This could have occurred before Project Moonlark was initiated, but I'm going on the assumption that Kenric recruits Prentice after he sets Project Moonlark into motion.

5th:  Kenric and Oralie questioning Fintan about stellarlune/Kenric reveals to Oralie that he knows about Project Moonlark (orange crystal)

This memory is from after Sophie's birth, since the Moonlark is mentioned.  Prentice's exile is mentioned, so this memory is after Kenric recruits Prentice.

Orange as the crystal color must refer to the orange glow of the Noxflares.

On this reading of the scene with Fintan, the following passage stands out.

Stellarlune, Page 239:  "Have you ever heard of Stellarlune?"  "Stellarlune?" Fintan repeated, dragging out the syllables.  "Can't say that I have."

Later in the book, Mr. Forkle makes this remark.

Stellarlune, Page 291: 
"Stellarlune," Mr. Forkle repeated, dragging out each syllable.  "You'll have to forgive me—sometimes the abundance of strange terms gets the better of me.  Stellarlune is one of Lady Gisela's projects, isn't it?"

I wrote in my previous post, "Mr. Forkle is definitely playing dumb by dragging out the syllables in 'stellarlune.'  He's heard of it."  Fintan is playing dumb as well.  Ah, these former Councillors and their games...   

Oralie and Kenric in Elysian (yellow crystal)

I believe that Kenric gained some information about Elysian from Fintan's memory when he and and Oralie questioned Fintan.  If so, then this memory comes after the one with Fintan.

7th:  the map of Elysian (purple crystal)

I assume that Kenric created a map of Elysian after he and Oralie visited Elysian.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Judy Bolton #10 Riddle of the Double Ring Glossy Internal Illustrations

The early Judy Bolton books have glossy internal illustrations.

Click on each image in order to see it at a higher resolution.

Glossy frontispiece used from 1937 to 1942:

Glossy internal illustration used in 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used in 1937:

Glossy internal illustration used in 1937: