Economic woes force the Victorian-era orphans of Mercy Hall into a second expedition to the technologically advanced land beyond their magical hedge (Escape from Mercy Hall, 2012). This time they return with not only more treasure, but jet packs too!
Their treasury emptied by the failure of their local bank, Milly, George, Singer, Charlie and Drago the talking dog reluctantly reopen the gateway to the dangerous but diamond-rich world introduced in the opener. The expedition quickly devolves into a series of attacks and chases by the nefarious techno-priestly Robes, who are eager to discover the gateway's location. Luckily, the misleadingly named "NoGoodLands" turn out to be well-stocked with hospitable talking allies, from Polly trees and kangaroolike Jambucks to green-skinned, warlike, humanoid Waterlanders. Thanks to these new friends and their own powers, such as Singer's ability to turn invisible at will and Milly's superstrength, the orphans not only survive numerous narrow squeaks, but pull off a raid on the Robes' own headquarters to steal some "rocket rucksacks." Stasyuk’s rare, small vignettes add bits of visual detail.
Like the first episode, thoroughly predictable and free from more than momentary suspense or danger—but quick of pace at least, and unchallenging of language. (Fantasy. 10-12)