The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis

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The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Marrill boards the Enterprising Kraken in the hope of finding a cure for her mother. And on a different world Fin, whom people forget the moment he's out of sight, seeks the mother he lost years before. In order to succeed they must work together to discover the Map to Everywhere.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: November 2014
Publisher: Orion
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781444010541

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The upside to being forgotten by everybody the minute they lose sight of you is that it makes stealing things pretty easy. The down side is that you never have a friend, you never have someone to turn to if you are sad or sick, and maybe worst of all you never, ever, see a face light up with recognition as you approach. Of course it means you can say and do absolutely anything you like, because it will be forgotten immediately, but then, why bother? In five seconds from now, who's going to care?

This is the extraordinary life of Fin, an orphan thief who lives, if such an existence can be called that, in Khaznot Quay – right until the day someone sends him a letter offering him the chance to see his mother again in return for a little thieving. In the way of such things the job offer is couched in cryptic verses and riddles (what character in a fantasy worthy of the name would say, straight out, exactly what has to be stolen, and where to find it?) but the reader will understand when at last Fin meets the sender. Not to put too fine a point on it the gentleman in question is way, way up at the top of the insanity meter.

Marrill, on the other hand, is a determined and adventurous American schoolgirl who has spent her life travelling the globe with her parents and her cat. But now her mother's illness means the travelling is over – and maybe this time her mother won't get better. An odd series of events leads our heroine to board a ship which happens to be floating across a parking lot in Arizona, a ship owned by a wizard and his somewhat unusual crew (the bilge mice are particularly appealing), and soon the main characters are all speeding down the Pirate Stream in search of the magical Map.

So far, so good – a cracking good adventure with a range of eccentric and original characters, an unusual and thoroughly scary villain, a thrill-crowded quest and a couple of likeable main characters. But the authors, a husband and wife team, don't stop there. In their hands, this story becomes so much more than an exciting romp. What does it really mean to be effectively non-existent in the eyes of everyone around? And how does Fin cope when he at last makes his first friend? For to his astonishment Marrill actually remembers him, no matter how long he's out of sight, and the book is a brilliant mix of pathos and humour as he struggles to work out how to cope.

The good news is that this book is the first of a projected series, and if the rest can sustain the level of originality and fun of this one, it's going to be very popular. Definitely worth reading!

This book, with its well-constructed and complex premise, is reminiscent in quality of the work of Frances Hardinge. Bookbag particularly enjoyed A Face Like Glass and Twilight Robbery.

Buy The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis at Amazon.com.


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