As you may recall, I thoroughly enjoyed the first Book of Beginning, The Emerald Atlas. And when one is so charmed by he first book in a series, one is presented with an interesting dilemma: obviously one will read the next book, but how many sequels or second novels are as good as the first?
Each of the Books of Beginning follows one of the Wibberly children through their search for the three books… of… right. Three kids, three books.
The way Stephens tells Michael’s story while still weaving in a reason for Kate to be around (she’s already gotten her book, after all) is brilliant. There’s time travel and an Oliver-style band of orphan children and dwarves and their nemeses, elves.
And as much as I like the dwarves with their drinking and vaguely Scottish-inspired snark, you guys, I am so amused by elves. They are giddy and vain and just look:
“Oh, wonderful…you’ve already fallen in love with me!”
“I have not-“
“Don’t be silly! You should see the ridiculous look upon your face! By the way, have you noticed the way my hair moves?”
And then there’s this:
“And my father is well?” asked Wilamena … “Tell me captain, what is the state of his hair?”
“Not as lustrous since your captivity, but I’m sure it will regain its natural fullness and bounce once you are home.”
I just… I can’t even.
To paraphrase S. Morgenstern, there is a shortage of perfect sequels in this world. It would be a pity to miss this one.
9.5 out of 11 Soulful, Big-Eyed Youths