(Product description from Amazon)
Fourteen year old Jack Snow is late for baseball practice when an unusual young woman and her brother cross his path. Jack knows answering Calliope and Phineas's call for help means he won't make it to practice, but he cannot imagine how far from home he will end up as a result. When a mysterious force draws him through a crack in reality, leaving his two new acquaintances stranded behind, Jack, Phineas, and Calliope must all make their way amongst strangers to find their way home.
What a gem!! Honestly, I can't believe how much I enjoyed this book. Especially as this is nothing like any genre I read, and the main character is a 14 year old boy. It just goes to show that no matter how old the MC is, including the story’s secondary characters, if it’s well written, it will be enjoyed by many. This short young adult novella falls under the sci-fi/fantasy (steam punk) genre.
I read this in one sitting it was that engaging, but then it is a novella. Still, I’ve picked up novellas that did nothing for me and I found myself putting them down. This one, however, was just so different. I don’t know why, really. I'm still mulling it over. I do know that it was good, it was very, very good.
This story starts with Jack Snow desperately trying to make it to baseball practice on time. Standing at a pedestrian crossing waiting for the light to change, and whilst looking across at the park, he sees a girl fall out of a tree – soon followed by a boy. Huh? The light changes, Jack crosses the street and walks to where these kids fell, to find out if they are alright. Right after Jack checks on them, Calliope (love this name) asks him if he could help them get their ‘kite’ down from the tree. Her brother, Phineas, isn’t too pleased but then he knows what could happen. Jack knows he’s definitely late now and can see his team up in the distance already warming up – so what are another few minutes? Up the tree he goes, grabs onto the line and as he tugs, the line seems to tug him back up and away. He next finds himself surrounded by, well, sky - until he promptly lands on a lawn in front of a house he has never seen. From here on in (and no I am not going to divulge what happens further in this story) it’s pure fascination drizzled with adventure, world jumping, not to mention a gadget or two – something boys would love to get their hands on. What develops in this story is just so amazing; I wanted to clap my hands. I know I sound like a kid and felt like one reading this book. By now you must have guessed that Jack is in a parallel world – but then you must have gathered that by the title too. :) Even so, I never expected it to turn out quite the way it did!
I loved the way this author wrote this book. Every chapter concentrates on either Jack and the world he is presently in, or the conundrum that Calliope and Phineas face in figuring out a way to get back. What’s wonderful is that no matter which character you are reading about in any given chapter, it’s all cohesive and tightly woven together. It just works, is easy to read and wonderfully written - just magical. I wanted to be a part of this little adventure. The word I have been searching my mind for since I started writing this review – has finally hit me - it’s original. And you know what? I could have read on and on and on. Wow.
Please read it, no matter what age you are. I so recommend it. You will most assuredly enjoy it. I LOVED it. So much so, that I am still thinking about it!
RATING: 4 1/2 STARS
RATING: 4 1/2 STARS