Review: The Nowhere Thief

Written by  Alice M. Ross
Cover Illustration by Federica Frenna
Published by Nosy Crow

The Nowhere Thief is a dazzling, exciting and action-packed multiverse adventure that completely captured me:  a story of family and friendship; of danger and courage; and, of hope and finding your path.

Twelve-year-old Elsbeth lives in the quiet seaside village of Lewesby with her mother who runs an antique shop, but they are in danger of losing their livelihood due to the threat of eviction from their unscrupulous landlord.  However, Elsbeth has an incredible ability that might just save the shop:  she can travel to parallel worlds through the Nowhere where she brings back items she finds to be sold in the shop.    

On a visit to another world to acquire more items, Elsbeth is saved from being caught for stealing by a young boy, but she loses him in the Nowhere.  When she visits a world close to her own, she again meets the boy who confesses that he has been following her.  Idris and Elsbeth soon find themselves in danger as they are caught and imprisoned, but Elsbeth discovers that together they have the ability to escape, but at what cost?  Could her powers be linked to unusual weather patterns? Could she lose more than her home if she continues to risk taking goods from the multiverse? 

And so begins an absolutely gripping, fast-paced adventure brimming with danger, daring and unexpected twists and revelations that kept me on the edge of my seat.  I was eagerly turning the pages to find out who Elsbeth could really trust as she faces great peril, uncovers secrets and learns more about her abilities and the worlds she has been travelling between. 

I really liked that Elsbeth has found her way into something that she has no real knowledge of, that she has been fearless and curious in her exploration and is learning about how it works organically.  I felt that this was juxtaposed perfectly with Idris’ knowledge which allows Elsbeth to learn more about the multiverse including its economy and politics – and what a fascinating, complex and dangerous place it proves to be!

I really liked both Elsbeth and Idris, and enjoyed the firm friendship that develops between them, working as a team and learning to trust and rely on each other.  Both have experienced loss and loneliness and are willing to take risks for their family and place themselves in danger in order to help each other and those they love.  I really felt for Idris as I learned more about the relationship between him and his grandmother and his reason for following Elsbeth. I definitely sympathised with Elsbeth’s situation and her choice to steal items, which she felt didn’t hold great value in their own world and wouldn’t be missed, in order to sell them to help her mother. I think this could open up some great classroom discussion linked to:  is it ever right to steal? 

The Nowhere Thief is an unmissable adventure into a kaleidoscope of scintillating, exhilarating and fast-paced action that is just perfect for readers of 9+.

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