The King’s Puzzle by Ian Wilson may be a YA book. I realized it some time after I started reading it, because the hero of the story is 16. A 16 year old boy who is being romanced by a 17 year old girl, and one who has a crush on a woman who used to be his dad’s paramour.
The King’s Puzzle, Book 1 of 6: An Angus Wolfe adventure
Author: by Ian Wilson
Publisher: Ian Wilson; 1 edition (April 15, 2015)
Let’s begin at the beginning. The story or adventure is historical, but the setting is modern. So we have a 16 year old boy in 2011 Canada, trying to find out what happened to his grandfather in 1939. Why? Because he gets a letter from Buckingham Palace asking him to do so. The story has a very interesting premise but it gets to be very confusing.
Sharol, a 30 something beauty and Charlize Theron lookalike, had a thing with Angus’s dad. Now she is acting really peculiar and also seems to have a thing for Angus, so I suppose you could call her a Cougar? Well, not really. This is one of the things that is not very evident. There is some kind of role reversal where Angus Wolfe, age 16, seems to be calling the shots, and Sharol, 30 something sounds and acts like a psycho.
I think the character of Angus is not well established in the beginning leaving the reader bewildered. Is Angus supposed to be kind of a genius or prodigy? Why not say it outright? So we gradually learn he is homeschooled, he builds airplane models, and has an uncanny knowledge of historical dates, old planes, regiments etc. from World War II. He is trying to solve the ‘puzzle’ of the puzzle. Angus’s grandpa was 10 when he ditched a date with the King of England. No one knows why. Well, obviously the boy lived after that since he has a grandson. That is the only thing I could gather early on.
Sharol Smythe has another mystery for Angus to solve. Why? Is he some kind of private eye? Well, no one said that in so many words.
I couldn’t tell if the story is poorly written or if the author is deliberately trying to confuse the reader or obfuscate things to keep it interesting. The King’s Puzzle has great potential – I just wish it wasn’t so vague. It feels like you are reading something half way through, or watching a movie that started an hour ago.