From Publishers Weekly
Baker's (the Company series) first book for children introduces a young heroine named Emma, who finds herself on the Dunes after an unspecified disaster. Her apparent solitude is an illusion: the Dunes are home to the lost Grand Wenlocke, the most luxurious hotel in the world, as well as the ghost of dutiful Bell Captain Winston Oliver Courtland. The hotel is uncovered by conveniently timed winds and in short order the orphan and ghost are joined by cook Mrs. Beet, tugboat pirate Captain Doubloon and fellow orphan Masterman Wenlocke. The five form an ad-hoc family and begin operating the hotel once more. At the outset, the omniscient narrator assures readers that Emma has the required "cleverness and bravery" to tackle an adventure, but the book offers scant opportunities for Emma to demonstrate this. The tragedy that maroons Emma is deliberately vague, Doubloon is amiable, Masterman proves reasonable and the servants are properly submissive. The element of danger introduced by the arrival of Masterman's conniving guardian seems perfunctory. Although skillfully written, the book is undermined by a lack of tension. Ages 9-12.
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"Skillfully written." Publishers Weekly
"There are few books that I immediately want to press into the hands of other readers the instant I turn the last page. My copy of Hotel will be one that I hand to my daughter in a few years. First, however, I'm going to force it on everybody I know." Locus
"Although Baker is an established author of science fiction and fantasy for adults, this novel is written so naturally that it is difficult to believe it is her debut for younger readers." VOYA
"I read it all in one sitting, enjoying the characters and the well-crafted plot very much, and want to read it soon to my granddaughters . . . reassuring but exciting, and the Wenlocke itself is a wonderful creation." Cecilia Holland, author, Until the Sun Falls
"Ms. Baker has written something like an Edwardian storybook by E. Nesbit but still suitable for modern tastes and attention-spans. There are also some beautiful and ethereal illustrations by fantasy artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. The Hotel Under the Sand is smart and funny, filled with old-fashioned wonder." i09
"It's exciting to come upon a book that serves not only as a great story to share with your kids, but one that has some undeniably unusualand geekyfeatures. So, here are five particularly good reasons to read The Hotel Under the Sand with your kids this summer." Geek Dad, Wired.com
"Wow! I read The Hotel Under the Sand with delight and joy. It’s wonderful, wacky and spooky and serious and FUN . . . it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out to be a classic and went on down the ages along with Alice and Oz and the very few others that have become immortal." Diana Wynne Jones, author, Howl’s Moving Castle
"Charming . . . Baker's first book for younger readers is a delight." Denver Post