Gargantis is another cracking read, full to the brim with more sinister happenings in Eerie on Sea. Verdict: Lovely place to visit, too scary to live there, never a moment’s peace. A thrilling middle grade mystery.
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger starts with a good premise: a tween who’s not like everyone else.This is a generalisation or more accurately a truism, that most people want to feel necessary, be important and it’s set up from the beginning of the novel that Sophie is all that and more.
Orphans of the Tide is a fantastic tale about history, loss, friendship, and love. It takes place in a bleak land almost devoid of joy, where the inhabitants are focused only on survival, a place mired in mystery: this is The City. Where strange things happen because they always have and only a few remember or know the truth of the matter.
The world-building is wonderful and the characters charming, thoroughly recommend
The premise of The Last Smile in Sunder City is good: A land where magical creatures (dwarves, goblins, gremlins, vampires, witches, you get the idea) are left redundant in reduced circumstances: without their magic, the fundamental part of themselves.
I liked the sound of it as soon as I read the synopsis, so a shame it didn’t quite hit the spot.
The message I got from this book was when you believe in yourself when you acknowledge the belief that someone has in you, everything is possible. You find a strength you didn’t even know you had to fight, to stand up for yourself and be a leader. This invokes the times Amani has referenced Binta telling Amani to be brave, as if Binta knew that despite appearances and past behaviour, Amani could be brave.