To join in, all you need to do is:
- Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
- Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
- Write three words to describe the book.
- Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.
Strangeworlds Travel Agency: The Edge of the Ocean by L. D. Lapinski, cover art by Natalie Smillie, published by Hachette Children’s
The first Strangeworlds book was magnificent and sucked me right in (you can read my review here) so I was very excited to read book two!
If you’ve not read book one, start there! If you have you surely won’t need me to convince you to grab book two, but just in case you need a nudge…
I admit, it did take a couple of chapters to reorient myself, but once I did, I devoured this in just a couple of sittings; I could not put it down.
Flick and Jonathan are back and as brilliant a pairing as ever! The addition of Jonathan’s cousin Avery adds another dimension and plenty of interest, and their friendship continues to go from strength to strength in the most hilarious, awkward and heartfelt ways.
Jonathan is one of my favourite characters, not just in this series but in children’s fiction and to see him sailing the seas, swashbuckling and soaked to the skin raised many a smile.
He’s written with such a fabulous dry wit and I have to say that it’s a testament to LD Lapinski’s writing that in the midst of a rollicking, riotous pirate adventure one of my favourite scenes was Jonathan in the veg aisle at Tesco.
On a more serious note, there’s developments from the first book that will have a lump in your throat as often as a laugh and the balance struck is perfect.
Flick for her part has just managed to escape her lifelong grounding and it’s a good thing too, as Strangeworlds are summoned to The Break – a flat, watery world which is vanishing fast.
And so begins a fast-paced, action-packed piratical adventure like no other!
Faced with a lost suitcase, warring pirate crews and mysterious mer-folk they know nothing about, the Strangeworlds crew set about trying to save the inhabitants of The Break (whilst still being home in time for tea).
I said in my review of the first book that the world-building and imagination were top notch and that remains the case here too. To somehow make the fantastic so believable and tangible is no mean feat.
The characters Flick, Jonathan and Avery meet are brilliant too – the pirates tough, robust and wily; the merfolk vividly imagined and depicted.
Packed with excitement, twists, turns and magic (not forgetting the mortal danger, double-crossing and world-hopping), this is a high seas adventure like no other! Absolutely brilliant – I need book three immediately!
My favourite quote from page 211 (sorry Mary, I’m cheating):
“‘Are there any rules for talking to mer-folk?’ Avery asked.“
This book in three words:
Pirates. Magic. Excitement.
Have you read the Strangeworlds books? Will you be picking this one up?