Amber House By Kelly Moore and Tucker Reed Reviewed By: Cassius Dotson

Amber House By: Kelly Moore and Tucker Reed


From the book:


Sarah Parsons has never been to Amber house, the grand Maryland estate that’s been in her family for three centuries. She’s never wandered it’s hedge maze or explored it’s secret attics; she’s never danced in it’s ballroom or hunted for the diamonds said to be hidden in it’s walls. But all of that is about to change, as Sarah, her brother and there icy mother settle into Amber house, she finds herself drawn to both handsome Richard, who introduces her to the world of wealth and privilege, and puzzling Jackson, who dares her to find the diamonds. She discovers she can see visions of the mansions history—like her mother as a young girl, unimaginably warm and happy, or the cruel sea captain who lost the jewels long ago. Piece by piece, she uncovers the secrets of Amber house: it’s ancient crimes, and it’s fresh betrayals.


Who wouldn’t want to be able to see the past? Come on. Admit it. You know you want to be able to see the past of your ancestors. It’s not something an average human does but in Kelly Moore’s book Amber House, the first of the series, a young girl has this special gift. In this fantasy, it tells about three young adults and there frightening challenge with a house that can mentally speak with you. While I enjoyed the entire novel, I mostly enjoyed the theme, setting, and characters.


I enjoyed the mysterious theme presented in this book. What is it like to see the past is the central question presented in Amber House. In this novel a teenage girl stays in her deceased grandmothers house, and realizes some very interesting things about her past. Then the question becomes can she really see the past and interact with the visions? Certainly if someone had this gift in our world we most likely wouldn’t accept them. We would treat them bad and just flat out evil. In this book though Sarah isn’t made fun of, she’s accepted, because it’s a common thing in her family tree. This novel reminds me of a T.V. show called Ghost Whisperer. A woman can see and react with spirits. Like in Amber House Sarah can see but can she react?


The setting was the second element that I really enjoyed in this novel. Like most fantasy books, there’s always magical things happening.  While there isn’t much detail with the theme, there are many places it touches on the past, during the time of slavery and many other instances. One example is how Sarah see’s her ancestors beating and raping slaves. For me that would have been a harsh thing to see. For me I enjoyed the many mysterious settings. The mysterious settings remind me of how there’s always a surprise around the corner.



The third element of the novel that I enjoyed was thee reactions between the characters. There is always strong reactions between the characters. For example when Sarah and Richard spend time together they get drawn to each other  more and more. Or when she’s with Jackson always searching for the so called hidden diamonds. With the mysterious adventures going on in this book the characters are always up for the challenge. Which is another reason why I love the strong reactions between the characters.


Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and will continue reading the series. I would like to know what happens to Sarah! I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery. Sarah Parsons definitely has a great adventure on her hands! Through the exciting theme, unique setting and strong reactions with the characters, Kelly Moore’s book is a winner!


6 responses

  1. Hi Cassius.
    Wow the opening paragraph really grabs the reader’s attention. Good job on phrasing the sentences to get someone intrigued. You also did a good transition from your opening paragraph to the second paragraph. This transition however didn’t carry through with the body paragraphs. It helps to end a paragraph with a sentence that will tie into the next subject paragraph to keep a smooth flow of reading.
    The idea of mystery in this novel definitely catches my attention. By asking a question to your reader it makes them wonder about the novel, so that is a very good thing to do to get someone thinking. However, you didn’t give me an example of the mysteries that Sarah may be trying to solve, or that may be surrounding her family.
    Also, the paragraph that you used to describe the setting of the novel indicated what Sarah saw around her, such as the slave example, but you didn’t describe the house or the land around it that maybe some things that Sarah sees or does takes place.
    The third paragraph gave good details about the relationship between Sarah and Jackson and Richard, but next time it might help to elaborate on the bond; this will help form more detailed and complete sentences.
    You did very well covering the points that needed to be made in the overall book review. I think that by just adding a few details, for someone that has not yet read the book, would be very helpful to your writing.

    1. Hi Amy,
      Thank you for replying to my review. I will use the advice you gave me on adding more detail in my paragraph. Mrs.Baisden has wrote about that in one of my other book review’s. I will make sure that my next review will have these details so that if someone hasn’t read it yet they will get a good example. Thank You so much!

  2. Samantha Blevins | Reply

    I really enjoyed reading your book review! You make this book sound so interesting that I think I may want to read it myself! I liked the summary that you used at the very beginning, and I thought that it was very smart of you to use a rhetorical question for your opening sentence, so good job on that! You also had a clear thesis that your body paragraphs followed. I like your mention of the theme of the book in your first body paragraph. Maybe you can add more analysis and specific examples (specific quotes) that could help the reader to better understand this.
    I like how you end your first body paragraph with a question that is present throughout the book. Try working on your transitions from paragraph to paragraph so that it flows for the reader. For example, the opening sentence to your second body paragraph could introduce what specifically Sarah sees and what is surrounding her. In other words, the setting. In a clear transition, there is a connection between the closing sentence of one paragraph and the opening sentence to the next paragraph.
    I also think that you did a great job with your conclusion by wrapping up your review and referring back to your thesis. Think about making your recommendation more clear. Is this book appropriate for all ages?

    Good work, Cassius 🙂

    1. Hi Samantha,
      Thank you for commenting on my review. I’m glad you gave me this advice of ending one paragraph and starting the next with the same subject connection, because I went back and looked over it and I seen where I went wrong. Mrs.Baisden has told my fellow students and I that we should do this process in our writing so thank you. Amber House is appropriate for all ages, the worse thing that will be in that book is a little scary visions Sarah encounters.

      1. Samantha Blevins

        I’m glad that I could help out! I’m also thrilled that you see where I am coming from in regards to connecting your paragraphs with transitions. If you truly integrate these transitions into your writing, it will make it much smoother for your reader.

        Keep up the good work 🙂

      2. Hi Samantha,
        Thank you again for everything and I’m glad your thrilled! I will keep up the good work!

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