The creator of the Fablehaven series gets his newest venture off to a literal flying start.
A night of trick-or-treating turns genuinely terrifying when sixth-grader Cole and a band of Arizona classmates are transported to the Outskirts, a land between universes. There, he’s seized by slavers and sold to a gang of aerial pirates who plunder the often well-defended floating castles that stream over a bottomless chasm. Intent on saving his friends, he escapes with fellow slave Mira—who turns out to be more than she seems. She leads him through danger-filled adventures in a land of giant desserts and similarly strange locales to a face-off with a monster made of stolen magic. Mull gives his protagonist opportunities aplenty to demonstrate courage, quick wit and a talent for teasing. He also lays inventive twists on magical gear and workings and crafts such oddball monsters and settings that even a native-born character complains at one point, “I keep waiting for this to get less weird, and it keeps not happening.” From the evidence, readers may consider that a promise from the author.
Sequels are certain, and they should be welcomed by all who like plenty of “odd” in their odysseys. (Fantasy. 10-13)