Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles
In this tongue-in-cheek middle grade adventure, 15-year-old Ronan Boyle is tapped to join the Garda Special Unit of Tir Na Nog, an elite division of the Irish police dedicated to handling supernatural-related incidents, such as those involving leprechauns, trolls, and changelings. Determined to prove that his incarcerated parents were framed for the theft of a mummified “Bog Man,” Ronan pursues his law enforcement career with an eye toward finding the true culprit. First, however, he must survive the harrowing training process, which includes learning Shillelagh Safety and Combat as well as Weaponized Poetry. His greatest test comes when his team is sent to investigate reports of a harpy, a mission that goes disastrously wrong. Actor/screenwriter Lennon (the Night at the Museum series) makes a spirited debut with this mythology-laden tale, but his comic voice suffers from an overload of jokes, quips, and ludicrous situations. Every page is littered with clever asides or helpful footnotes, making it difficult for the reader to consider one before moving on to the next. Even so, the memorable voice and playful sensibility make this an entertaining series opener. Final art not seen by PW
. Ages 10–14. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Mar.) Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the title.