Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MAP OF FLAMES by Lisa McMann


From the Forgotten Five series, volume 1

by Lisa McMann

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-32540-7
Publisher: Putnam

When the last supernatural criminal adult in their seaside hideout dies, their five children journey to the far-flung country of Estero.

To escape the outside world with its harsh stigma against anyone supernatural, the eight parents fled to a coastal refuge following a final heist 15 years ago. However, a need for supplies pulled most of them back to Estero, trips from which they mysteriously never returned, leaving just one parent behind. Three years later, 13-year-old Birdie Golden’s father succumbs to an illness; his final request that she find her mother haunts Birdie. Reluctantly, the five supernatural young people—Birdie, who communicates with animals; her younger brother, Brix, who heals rapidly; Seven Palacio, whose body is perpetually camouflaged; Tenner Cordoba, who has extrasensory strengths; and Cabot Stone, who has great talents but has yet to develop any powers—depart for Estero City. Armed with a flame-enchanted map that leads to the final heist’s stash, they travel across sea and jungle to a city full of modern wonders, secret allies, and an anti-supernatural plot at the highest levels of society. The narrative jumps among the characters’ internal perspectives, highlighting each of their personal conflicts in ways that reveal their individual complexities. Though the worldbuilding is rather wobbly and there are loose threads (hopefully to be resolved in a sequel), plenty of humor and fun demonstrations of powers keep readers’ attention. Names and skin tone are used to indicate some diversity among the cast.

Supernaturally cool.

(Fantasy. 8-12)