Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Book Review: The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis

Title: The Map to Everywhere (Map to Everywhere, #1)
Authors: Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2014)

My rating: ✭✭✭✭✭

SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS: 

To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it's her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere--but they aren't the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can't beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!

In New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis's first installment of a fantastical new series, adventure, magic, and hilarity collide in the treacherous skies and dangerous waters of the Pirate Stream. Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.


My Review:

This was a great read, full of not only action but also beautiful themes. The Map to Everywhere was well worth the time spent reading.

Plot: 
The plotline in this book was tense, and adventure coursed through every word; however, the writing wasn’t the strongest. Though it was interesting, it lacked in some sections, feeling drawn out and expanded for no real reason, as if the authors were adding in drama just for the sake of adding in drama. Every scene contributes to the plot, that’s for sure—but even so, the scenes were longer than needed, and filled with many details that could have been reduced and simplified, overall creating simpler, more meaningful scenes. Ignoring these few writing flaws, however, the plotline itself was very intriguing and was very well structured.

Characters: More than the plot, though, for me it was the characters that drove this story. I just loved them so much! The authors did an incredible job of working each character in with their own flaws and fears, to make them seem realistic while still being present in a fantasty world. I loved Fin and was absolutely captivated by the concept of his being forgotten—whatever it’s called—and thought it was amazing. It was a way to connect better to sweet Fin, giving him a strange thing to overcome but in a way that developed his character further. Marrill: Marrill was amazing as well. Her passion and kindness for others was astounding and I loved getting to know her and her sweet nature. Her and Fin’s friendship got to me every time with its sweetness and geniunity, and it was awesome to watch their friendship take shape. Ardent was a wise old figure that I also enjoyed getting to know, more for amusement than anything else. Coll was a potential unexplored; though he was always there, I felt we never really got to know him and that had we gotten more of his life, there’s other crazy things about him too.

Negatives: On the downside I felt some of the plot was forced and there wasn’t enough reaction from some of the characters in the precarious situations. They perform some heroic action and it doesn’t even seem to phase them. I could just be missing something, but those were the only places I maybe didn’t connect with the characters as well as I did in the rest of the book.

I also hated the ending, but we don’t need to discuss that now. I’m just generally not a fan of last-minute cliffhangers. It leaves me with a distaste for the whole book. The book was just tied up so nicely and sweetly and now you’ve ruined the whole thing for me by adding a silly epilogue that completely goes against everything they’ve worked for. Not that cliffhangers are all necessarily a bad thing, but in this case, to me it made the book feel like it had all been for naught.

Overall, though, I really did enjoy this book. Despite the downsides, this really was a pageturner and I and loved getting to know the characters, and I loved all the great and positive themes about friendship. The epilogue ruined the book for me, so I don’t think I’ll read the second book, but still, The Map to Everywhere was a fun read while it lasted. 4.0 stars.

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