This was a truly mesmerising, magical read which drew me into brilliantly imagined worlds with two wonderful protagonists whose relationship felt genuine and realistic. The sense of wonder, the intricate magical system and the pervading threat of danger enthralled me … I’m already eager to continue the adventure!
Twelve-year-old Flick Hudson has moved to Little Wyverns where it does not take her long to find the rather incredible Strangeworlds Travel Agency which does not have any of the usual accoutrements of a travel agency, but does have a large selection of suitcases … and the utterly, utterly brilliant Jonathan Mercator! Flick has a natural curiosity and a desire to explore, so it is no surprise that she is drawn to the Agency but, once inside, she makes an incredible discovery … a discovery that leads to her acceptance into The Strangeworlds Society, and the beginning of an adventure that will change her life …
Flick discovers that she has a magical ability that allows her to use the suitcases in the custodianship of Jonathan to travel to other worlds in the multiverse. Just imagine stepping into a suitcase and arriving in another world. The world-building is superb, and I absolutely delighted in these richly described magical worlds, each of which is unique from The Crystal Forest to the Coral City to the City of Five Lights.
Alongside the awe engendered by these worlds, there is also a timely and relevant warning to care for and respect these worlds. The consequences of not doing so have placed one of the worlds, the City of Five Lights, in grave danger, a danger that may well have disastrous consequences not only for that world but also other worlds in the multiverse, including our own.
Jonathan takes Flick to Five Lights on his own agenda but, once there, they find themselves drawn into a dangerous mission to save the City from collapse… a mission which requires ingenuity, courage and trust.
I adored both Flick and Jonathan, and the development of their friendship which felt really authentic. Both have to deal with a lot of responsibility: Flick has lots of housework and looks after her younger brother to help out her busy parents, and Jonathan has had to take on the custodianship of the Travel Agency. Flick is courageous, kind-hearted and empathetic. I loved her strong sense of fairness, her directness and her strength in standing up for herself when she needs to. Jonathan has an acerbic wit, a penchant for detail and is a stickler for rules. He is also lonely, dealing with loss and in desperate need of a friend. My heart really went out to both of them, and I am so glad they found each other, and that they learn the true value of friendship … I really hope they have more amazing adventures through The StrangeWorlds Travel Agency.
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.