The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell - Mini-Review

Please Note: This review is coming several months after reading this book. Mini-reviews will be reserved for cases such as this one. However, I feel strongly enough about this novel to compose some general thoughts on it.

The Aviary

Kathleen O'Dell
Published Date
Historical Fantasy - Middle Grade
Preceded By
Followed By


Clara Dooley is confined to the Glendoveer Mansion by a mysterious heart condition. Her only friends include her mother named Harriet, Ruby, the very old Mrs. Glendoveer, and a myriad of exotic birds that can only seem to squawk at her. After Mrs. Glendoveer passes away, Clara is left with the mystery of a secret past, a magician, a mass murder, a new friend, a strict mother, and several loud birds.


I bought this novel on a whim - a buying spree fairly early on in my new-to-Kindle days. I had no idea what the book was about, but was fascinated by its cover. There is a saying, and I'm sure that you all know it, that says to not judge a book by its cover. This book, however, I did not judge - I loved and loved and loved it. Covers do have their purpose in the publishing industry and this book is a prime example of why they matter and how one can be at its most effective.

While this book may be considered "middle grade" I did not feel that any time I was reading it. Just as I believed "The Night Circus" was a YA novel, I felt this was as well. I do admit, I  can have a younger trend toward my novels of choice, but this one felt like an actual, genuine, YA novel.

To be short and to the point, because this is supposed to be a mini-review, I love this book. I said it before! I love the plot, I love all the turns the story took and was completely surprised by them. If I had read the summary, I don't think I would have enjoyed this novel as much as I did though - I just simply wouldn't have been as surprised (those silly little blurbs have a tendency to give up far too much of the journey from point A to point B for me). The characters all felt elegantly written (even the nasty ones). From my memory, never once did I feel the characters were false.

To accomplish a stellar cast, a fresh plot, and a beautiful cover is a difficult job to do. However, this novel does it perfectly. I don't feel that this novel will leave anyone unsatisfied nor unhappy and though it's a "middle-grade" novel, I would recommend it to anyone.