Taking a normal, unremarkable child or two and sending them off to worlds unknown has been a staple of children’s and young adult fiction for a good many years, but Massi takes that idea and tweaks and rearranges it enough to make it fresh while still seeming familiar. The land to which Bruce is transported is believable both as a strange, new world when first encountered and as a younger Earth once Bruce puts the pieces together. And Massi maintains the tension of keeping it both like and unlike ours as the story progresses and Bruce becomes more and more at home within it. The reader learns enough to picture it, but not so much that it ceases being somewhat strange and wonderful.
My only complaint, as it were, with the book, is that its just the one book. The story was well-contained in the single volume, but Massi could have easily, if she liked, have stretched out the tension to create either a longer, fuller book or a multi-volume story. Her writing is accessible and engaging enough that, added together with the story’s intricacies and the excellent characters, it could have kept even my middle-school-aged attention for another hundred pages or so. But ultimately, she left me wishing I could spend more time in the world and with the characters and that’s how you ought to feel when you finish the last page.
Come on Brian, nobody said that there won’t be more….
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