I was completely engrossed from start to finish in the life of Tess de Sousa, a wonderfully realistic and determined heroine whose courage is mixed with moments of uncertainty, guilt and fear.
She is living happily in an orphanage, where she was left in very unusual circumstances, when she is discovered by a long-lost relative … so starts Tess’s adventures and startling discoveries. Tess has rather a penchant for science and discovers a way to travel to a parallel world, in the grips of WWII, using a Star-spinner.
The villains in this book really are deliciously dark and devious! The story builds wonderfully to a tense climax, which had me holding my breath.
For me, this story is a real testament to the power of friendship and trust, whether that be from the childhood friends Tess grew up with, her incredibly comforting (and not at all scary!) pet tarantula or the boy she meets in the parallel world.
This is a perfectly paced, incredibly enjoyable and intelligent book, perfect for middle-grade readers – and their grown-ups!