This was an odd read for me as it was narration with periodic sketches of characters throughout the book.
Usually, I'm not a big fan of that style as I believe much of a story is how the reader interprets the author's description of a world (much like if I said, "blue" different people would instinctual imagine baby blue or dark blue or the blues in a lake - it's usually person dependent). With more descriptions, the author can get across more of how the world looks, characters, etc.
So when books remove that essence to the story (I don't mean graphic novels/comic books as that is the intention going into it), I get a little at odds with it as if they don't start with the art or only illustrate some of it, it tends to ruin what my mind will naturally imagine and I personally struggle with what I want to imagine versus what the art is telling me to imagine.
With this book, because the artwork on the cover was so well depicted and based on the description of the main character, it was much less shocking for me to come across a character sketch in the story.
SO, after that GIANT speech which I find EXTREMELY important, an amazon summary, "Art, mystery, fun and friendship, combine in this illustrated middle grade series debut. Sixth grader Edmund Xavier Lonnrot, codename "Eddie Red," has a photographic memory and talent for drawing anything he sees. When the NYPD is stumped by a mastermind art thief, Eddie becomes their secret weapon to solve the case, drawing Eddie deeper into New York's famous Museum Mile and closer to a dangerous criminal group known as The Picasso Gang.
With page-turning adventure and fun characters, this first installment in the Eddie Red series is a must-read for any fan of puzzles and mystery.A Spring 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices selection." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
The book begins with Edmund (who will be referred to as Eddie from now on for the sake of my typing) having ice cream with his Dad as his Dad is breaking the news that Eddie might have to give up going to his private school and switching to public schools as his folks can't afford it anymore. There moment is interrupted by a crime happening in an alley; his Dad tells Eddie to call the police as he chases into the alley to help...but Eddie winds up hiding under a bench and seeing the criminal run by as they escaped.
The police came, took Eddie to the station to get a statement from him and his Father as well as a description of the criminal. Eddie describes the criminal to the sketch artist who keeps....getting it not exactly right. Eddie takes over drawing the sketch and depicts a great picture due to the combination of his art skills and photographic memory, and after a bit, is recruited by the cops to help with the case.
Now what I like about this story is that even though the character is young, he makes good choices and the situations and circumstances in which things happen seem realistic in how they come to be. There aren't a whole lot of ways that explanations are given in a sentence or two in need to be accepted, everything is decently explained.
It was pretty refreshing for a mystery series.
...yeah, it seems like it's going to be a series. I'm excited.
I thought Eddie's family was great, the characters throughout the story were all unique yet still realistic.
The only part I find slightly unrealistic is Eddie's best friend and how it portrays ADHD. I don't have any extensive experience with ADHD so I don't know how accurate the portrayal there is. I'm sure different folks with ADHD handle it in different ways and exhibit symptoms in different fashions, but Eddie's best friend came across as a bit manic to me.
It was odd, but not odd enough to be off-putting; just quirked eyebrow levels.
I did like the puzzle aspect that came up later in the book. NO SPOILERS, IT WAS JUST COOL. :D