The Map to Everywhere: City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
|The Map to Everywhere: City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: The second book in this excellent series is as wildly original and exciting as the first: who could fail to love the ever-obliging Ropeman, or to shudder at the sinister baddie who fills people's minds with despair?|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: November 2015|
|Publisher: Orion Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
A delicate net for catching clouds, a talking frog and a stop sign with a personally addressed warning on it: items which are ordinary enough on the Pirate Stream, but definitely not in boring old Arizona USA. Marrill is immediately on the alert: why are items from the other world washing up in a disused lot on the far edge of her neighbourhood? That can't happen, mustn't happen – she knows only too well from her earlier adventure that it means something dreadful has happened there and that if the contact continues, it may just rip her world apart.
And so, despite her worry over her mother's serious illness, Marrill must set off once more on the Pirate Stream. This extraordinary waterway is so full of magic that one small drop of it can put whiskers on your kneecaps, and woe betide anyone who actually falls in – extra hair in unusual places would be the least of your problems. But at least this time Marrill knows she has people she can trust on board the good ship Enterprising Kraken so she quickly packs a bag, tucks the frog and Karny the cat under one arm and sneaks away. Not quickly or discreetly enough, however. Remy, who's been looking after Marrill while her parents are away, follows her all the way to the Stream – as she reminds her charge more than once, she's not called the best babysitter in Arizona for nothing. Not that the teenager is too confident about her skills once her car starts changing into . . . well, you'll just have to read the book to find out, but it is very, very funny. Poor girl, suddenly faced with a crazy reality full of bizarre creatures and eccentric people, having to live on a ship where the crew are rats and even the ropes that control the sails have opinions of their own, and worst of all, everyone keeps assuming she's a cheerleader!
Meanwhile, across in the other world, young Fin is once again facing challenges and problems of his own. It's bad enough that apart from Marrill no one has ever been able to remember him for more than a second or two - useful for someone who makes his living by stealing, but a pretty lonely existence. His search to find his mother seems to have stalled for lack of clues, and then he loses sight of the one person who might help him find out who he is – a mysterious girl who seems to be as forgettable as he is.
Among all the adventures, the misunderstandings and squabbles and the moments of sheer terror, both Fin and Marrill have to struggle with deeper questions about themselves, their identities and what they are prepared to do or to sacrifice to achieve their goals. Marrill's mother is desperately ill: is she ready to risk Fin's search for his mother in order to save her own? And should she give up both in order to stop her whole world from being smashed to pieces? Fin is promised the answers he seeks: but can he trust the person offering them? This splendid book manages to balance a non-stop slide from one heart-stopping thrill to the next with profound issues of friendship and family, and how to face and cope with grief and fear. That it achieves this while still producing some very amusing scenes and situations is a tribute to the two authors, and readers will eagerly await the third section of the saga.
Marrill and Fin's quests to save their mothers began in book one of the series, The Map to Everywhere so it's well worth going back to read what happened there. Another excellent set of stories with a serious element in the middle of all the fantastic events is The Last Wild by Piers Torday, and the sequels The Dark Wild and The Wild Beyond.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Map to Everywhere: City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Map to Everywhere: City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis at Amazon.com.
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