An unlikely pair in need of adventure is now responsible for saving worlds known and unknown and maybe finding a friend.
Casper Tock is just your average, orderly middle schooler trying to stay safe from bullies, turn in homework, and survive the haphazard hurricanes slamming England. That is, until a bully sneaks into his turret to torment him; forced to hide in a broken grandfather clock, he finds himself in Rumblestar, being detained by Utterly Thankless, a girl known for taking risks and causing mayhem, and her dragon, Arlo. Bewildered by this kingdom in the clouds—it’s responsible for creating “marvels” (the purest forms of snow, rain, and sun) that the other three unmapped kingdoms use to create weather—Casper learns that the unexplainable weather occurring through all of the Faraway is actually the doing of Morg, a nefarious harpy who wants to steal all of the unmappers’ magic, and her minions. Casper, Utterly, and Arlo set out for the Beyond on the advice of Slumbergrot, a cloud giant who can’t stay awake long enough to help. On their journey, Casper, who’s black, finds that he’s capable of bravery; Utterly, who’s white, considers that it might OK to open up; and both find that friendship isn’t completely terrible. The jam-packed plot, conveyed in a third-person-omniscient voice, is steadily paced, with plenty of action and just enough detail. This whimsical, humorous, richly built world sets the stage for more courageous adventures.
A delightful series opener. (Fantasy. 8-12)