Two displaced young adventurers sail streams of raw magic from world to world in this vividly cast series opener.
Convergent plotlines bring together Marrill, who impulsively climbs aboard the four-master that floats into view atop a shimmering mirage in an Arizona parking lot, and Fin, another world’s scruffy orphan/thief who literally passes “out of sight, out of mind” with everyone he meets. Nearly everyone, that is: To his shock, Marrill actually remembers him when he’s not in view. Joining a notably diverse crew aboard the Enterprising Kraken, a ship able to sail the transformative waters of the multiverse-spanning Pirate Stream thanks to a hull made from “dullwood,” the two set out to gather the long-separated parts of a fabled map to Everywhere. The quest becomes a frantic dash thanks to hot pursuit by Serth, a mad wizard who constantly weeps black tears and seeks the map to fulfill a vision of universal apocalypse. Fin’s oddball ability serves him well in tight spots, but it also becomes an amusing running gag. Filling out the cast with sobbing pirates, briskly efficient “pirats” (or “bilge mice”) and like fancies, the authors send their intrepid searchers hither and thither, to a desperate climactic struggle…that is only a beginning.
Multifaceted characters, high stakes, imaginative magic, and hints of hidden twists and complexities to come add up to a memorable start to a projected four-volume voyage. (numerous illustrations, not seen) (Fantasy. 10-13)