Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, (price currently unavailable) hardbound, ISBN-10 031624077X, November 2014
To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it’s her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere–but they aren’t the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can’t beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!
Do you have readers searching for a great getaway book? One of those stories that lets you immerse yourself in a world and step into the lives of the people there? The kind of story you don’t so much finish as fall off of, suddenly waking up in shock that the real world is still out there? Something complex and challenging to the imagination but fun and satisfying at the same time? Found one!
Although the hefty length may deter some reluctant readers, the fantasy world, colorful characters, and quest/villain-thwarting plot will engross any who choose to enter into this adventure. Especially endearing is Fin, probably the youngest Master Thief in any world, his career blessed by the fact that no one can remember him for more than a couple of moments. He can even steal the same pawned object and return it to the person who pawned it, who will then pawn it again and so on–although this point stretches credulity; wouldn’t the pawnshop owner and the owner of the object remember their transactions even if they forgot Fin? Perhaps his blessing is just that strong, although in the rest of his life, it’s a curse. Fin has no family and can’t make friends since everyone forgets him. He’s completely isolated until he stows away on the Kraken, ship of the good-natured and absent-minded wizard Ardent, which happens to also carry Marrill, a feisty girl from our world who doesn’t forget Fin. Their friendship grows as they face life-threatening magical dangers including a literal forest of gossip, a sob-inducing soothsayer, and a prophecy forecasting the end of the world.
Co-authors/spouses Ryan and Davis make a fabulous team, and their creation is filled with friendship, adventure, and a lot of laughs. The Map to Everywhere is the first in a planned series of four novels, and the wait for the next book is going to feel endless.
Recommend to: Fantasy fans, adventure fans
To buy or not to buy: A first purchase
ARC from Netgalley/Edelweiss, honest review, no money exchanged, etc. Final art not seen.