Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles) by Abi Elphinstone

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Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles]) by Abi Elphinstone

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Tanja Jennings
Reviewed by Tanja Jennings
Summary: Zinging and tingling with magic the first book in The Unmapped Chronicles is another inventive gem from Abi Elphinstone. In Sky Song her enchanted world reflected the terrible calamity of the refugee crisis. Her new venture Rumblestar explores the ravages of climate change in the 21st century wrapped within a charmed realm of sky tumbling waterfalls and frozen lightning where sun scamps spin dazzlethread and shatterblasts rage. Lyrical, imaginative and bursting with Roald Dahl style gobblefunk words and a quirky love of food, the message at its heart is one of courage, fortitude and friendship.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: May 2019
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's UK
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471173660

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Rumblestar follows the haphazard adventures of the anxious 11-year-old Casper Tock who timetables his every movement, makes countless to do lists and is hounded by wealthy bullies with the absurdly humorous and appropriate names of Candida Cashmere Jumps and Leopold Splattercash. He stumbles across a magic portal by accident just like Lucy of Narnia fame, meets a feisty girl troubled by her past and is plunged into a perilous quest. In a kingdom where the dark mythological forces of Midnights threaten the weather Marvels (equated here to the miracle of nature) conjured by magical creatures, only unlikely heroes can battle against evil.

Abi is an adventurer at heart. She has explored the beauty of our planet counting among her exciting moments living with the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia, meeting the Sami Reindeer Herders of Norway, dog sledding across the Arctic, climbing glaciers, abseiling into jungle caves and paragliding. She believes in sharing her experiences of wonder, resilience and bravery by writing stories that encourage children to look up and out from their screens at the beauty of the natural world so that they realise how lucky they are to call this planet home. Books can act as an engine for empathy by teaching qualities vital for a fractured and divided world and Abi aims to do this. She is passionate about protecting the environment and empowering readers to be agents for change which is evident in her inclusion of links to Authors4Oceans and ecological tips at the back of her books.

What is delightful about Rumblestar apart from its energetic and emotive plot and engaging characters, including a brave miniature dragon called Arlo, the wise Bristlebeard and sleepy Slumbergrot, is Abi's joy of language evident in the glorious onomatopoeia, alliterative names and acronyms she uses. Her text is packed with marvellous portmanteau words such as Wigglysplat, whoopsihard, whopperific, whallopsmashing, blustersnap and soulsmashingly. Casper and Utterly Thankless dine on enchanted food consisting of Avalanche Gobstoppers, Blizzard Bars and Fog Teasers and sip Thunderberry Shakes. Shades of Enid Blyton and JK Rowling here perhaps but still unique in their astonishing effects. Elphinstone's clever wordplay entertains and her fantastical creatures surprise. Watch out for the Jailbirds.

Rumblestar is just the first in Abi's exciting new series, The Unmapped Chronicles, which will go on to explore the other kingdoms she has created. Imagined as standalone quests they will follow different protagonists in new incredible settings. Abi revealed in an interview with In the Reading Corner that Jungledrop, planned for release in the spring of 2020, promises more delights including deep glints, glow in the dark rainforests, gobblequick trees, unicycles powered by jungle spit and Pretty Please plants. There is also a prequel Ever dark [especially released to celebrate World Book Day] set before the events of Rumblestar, but directly impacting on the protagonists' dramatic adventures which readers might like to have a look at too.

For more fantastical peregrinations why not take a trip to the Narnian landscape of Erkenwald in Sky Song or visit the realm of The Dreamsnatcher for a trilogy of dark magic served with a helping of bravery and camaraderie.

If you enjoy encountering danger, meeting magical beasts and being transported to other worlds you should fly on a magic carpet via The Thousand Nights and One Night by David Walser and Jan Pienkowski to the wonderful The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis, then travel on to the second star to the right and straight on till morning where you’ll arrive in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan: The Graphic Novel by Stref. We also have a review of Jungle Drop (The Unmapped Chronicles) by Abi Elphinstone.

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Buy Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles) by Abi Elphinstone at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles) by Abi Elphinstone at


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