Thirteen-year-old Jack Buckles is great at finding things. But when his sister walks off in London, and Jack goes to find her, he finds himself on the adventure of a lifetime instead. He stumbles into The Lost Property Office, where he is asked to fill out form 26 – B – 2. He quickly realizes that this isn’t some lost and found but actually the public façade of a much larger, secret organization. He also discovers that he has the tracker ability to “spark” or read the past, basically, by touching objects. Jack teams up with perky, young Gwen from the Lost Property Office to defeat a rather manic Frenchman who swears he will hold Jack’s father hostage until they track down and return a “stolen artifact” to him.
The Lost Property Office is a little bit fantasy, a little bit history, and a little bit of Warehouse 13 all rolled into one. The Warehouse 13 aspect of it, kept me going. While I overall liked the book, it required effort at times. The build up to the ‘Lost Property Office’ was slow. Some concept or ideas were a bit convoluted and hard to follow. I loved, LOVED the concept / idea that by touching an historical object, Jack can see the events the object witnessed. The Great Fire of London is mixed into the story and I think Hannibal does a great job exploring all the different ‘parts’ and characters involved in the history of the Great Fire. Gwen was totally spot on. Couldn’t have written a better character but at times I felt Hannibal was holding her back because she was a girl and girl characters can only do girl things. Gwen was totally awesome and yet just not quite. I’m intrigued enough to pick up book 2 but I don’t think I will be running out and getting it.