THE MAP THAT BREATHED by Melanie Gideon

THE MAP THAT BREATHED

Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A hodgepodge tale of parallel worlds and travelers between them features children with hidden pasts and abilities, a soul-sucking monster, inscrutable alien devices from who-knows-where, a plot laced with coincidences—and signs of a lively authorial imagination that can’t keep this overstuffed debut afloat, but bodes well for future work. Switching points of view among at least seven characters, Gideon assembles elements in a jigsaw fashion that will, calculated or not, keep readers off balance. After receiving a live bird that turns into a blank, but strangely addictive book, Nora is compelled by an obscure impulse to meet Billy, a boy with the ability to open a doorway to Greenwater—a land where quirky magics and near-constant partying intertwine since a predator dubbed The Provisioner has been imprisoned in a sort of animate map. The Provisioner escapes into our world as Nora travels to Greenwater, but loses her memory, and events lurch on from there to a violent climax. The author leaves plenty of room for sequels, and repeat visits to Greenwater will be welcome—preferably without all the contrivance and excess thematic baggage. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8050-7142-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2003