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UFiles #1: A Dark Inheritance


UFiles #1: A Dark Inheritance


Michael can’t really explain how it all started. One minute he, his sister Josie, and his mother are taking an alternate route to school because of flooding, and the next minute he’s jumping out of his van to save a suicidal dog from jumping off a cliff. As if that weren’t crazy enough, Michael can’t exactly remember how he saved the dog, but eyewitnesses could swear that time and space seemed to blur as he ran to do so. Eyes can play tricks on you, though, and everyone agrees that surely Michael couldn’t alter reality. That would be impossible! Except people --- important and dangerous people --- have noticed, and Michael is unprepared for the path that awaits him.

For Michael, it starts when a beautiful young French woman with a unicorn tattoo takes him to meet one of the strangest men Michael will ever encounter in his life: Mr. Amadeus Klimt. Mr. Klimt claims to be the head of a super secretive organization called UNICORNE that deals with Unexplained Incidents, Cryptic Occurrences, and Relative Nontemporal Events, basically anything that cannot be explained by human reason or science. Michael isn’t sure what to think of Mr. Klimt or how to tell him what happened with the dog yesterday. Once Mr. Klimt informs Michael that he knew Michael’s father, who disappeared years ago and Michael swears is still alive, Michael’s interest is immediately piqued. 

Every time the story would go down a familiar path, it would suddenly shift in a different direction to continually keep my interest and make me wonder what would happen next.

In exchange for ongoing information about his father’s whereabouts, Michael agrees to become an undercover agent for UNICORNE. His first mission is to investigate why the dog was going to jump off a cliff, as Mr. Klimt suspects there are larger forces at work. Michael’s investigation leads him to two unlikely --- and creepy --- sources. The first is the dog’s home, where Michael learns that it once belonged to a young girl named Rafferty who died years ago on the same cliffs where Michael found the dog. The second is the creepy new girl at school, Freya, who is withdrawn, dresses in black and is absent more than she is present. Michael would rather have nothing to do with either of these girls, but the desire to know what happened to his father compels him forward.

Michael, however, begins to crack under the pressure of trying to solve the case. The more he alters reality and jumps into alternative universes, the stranger the situation becomes. One minute Freya is a distant loner at school and the next she’s Michael’s girlfriend. Regardless of the reality Michael finds himself in, there is one thing Michael knows to be true: Mr. Klimt can’t be trusted and there is something much deeper and interconnected with Freya, Rafferty and the future of Michael’s place within UNICORNE.

I believe there are a few rules for starting a successful series. These include captivating characters, ongoing surprises, a deeply-rooted mystery, and an ending that not only makes you want to read the next book, but also adds some intrigue as it goes against everything you expected should happen. A DARK INHERITENCE has all these elements and more. Every time the story would go down a familiar path, it would suddenly shift in a different direction to continually keep my interest and make me wonder what would happen next. Add it to your stack for the summer.  You’re not going to want to miss this one!

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on June 11, 2014

UFiles #1: A Dark Inheritance

  • Publication Date: May 27, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Science Fiction
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • ISBN-10: 0545608767
  • ISBN-13: 9780545608763