This was a wonderfully imaginative new fantasy book! A great book for middle schoolers!
I loved the creativity of this world! It reminded me of Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull in its creativeness (I love that series!). In this other world, you’ve got monsters and winged creatures and creatures that look sort of like people but with lobster claws! So when Miles arrives in this bizarre new world, with no idea how he got there, he’s considered the oddity. (Sort of like in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, when Mr. Tomnus asks Lucy what she is.)
It was nice to take a break from YA books and read a middle grade book that had this hopeful tone to it. Don’t get me wrong, there are some sad moments, but they aren’t ball-your-eyes-out sad. The overall theme of the story is Miles trying to make it out of this world that he’s found himself in and make it back home to Texas and his parents.
My only criticism: there are several moments in the book when he is flashing back to talks he had with his school counselor after his grandma died which weren’t defined in some way as ‘oh hey, were not in this bizarre new world any more, we’re back in Texas’. It made it a bit confusing, and I had to go back and reread some parts to figure out what was going on. I do wish those parts had been separated out or put in italics, or SOMETHING.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading more books by Travis Riddle!
My Rating: 4/5 stars
* I was given an arc copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Travis M. Riddle lives with his pooch in Austin, TX, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. His work has been published in award-winning literary journal the Sorin Oak Review.