Review: Wendington Jones and the Missing Tree

Written by Daniel Dockery
Cover Illustration by Marco Guadalupi
Published by uclan publishing

An adventure only half done is not an adventure at all.

Wendington Jones and the Missing Tree is an absolutely brilliant adventure, with an intriguing mystery at its centre, that completely captured me.

Wendington Jone’s world is changed forever when she is given the news that her anthropologist and explorer mother, who she idolises, has been killed in a car accident following her latest adventure in Australia.  Returning to her family home, she has a midnight visitor who gives her a parcel from her mother:  half of the manuscript for her latest book, describing her search for the mythical Tree of Life, purported to be able to bring people back from the dead. Could her mother have found the mythical tree, and could this have put her in great danger?

Struggling to cope with her grief, Wendington is determined to solve the mystery of what her mother really discovered, and maybe even bring her mother back. This proves a perilous venture, and she soon finds herself running from those who seem intent on getting their hands on her mother’s work, regardless of who they might hurt.

Having found a ticket in her mother’s name to travel to Australia, she boards the SS Pembroke to escape from danger and to follow in her mother’s footsteps to attempt to discover the truth behind the existence of the Tree of Life. 

And so begins THE most incredible voyage as Wendington discovers that she may not have escaped danger, but rather that it has followed her.  I was completely gripped by this mystery which is brimming with tension, peril and brilliantly unexpected twists and revelations.  Who can Wendington trust aboard the ship?  Are there those who are prepared to betray her for their own goals?  The danger really ramps up as the voyage continues, and I was on the edge-of-my-seat as I was desperate to find out who was friend and who foe.  Will Wendington reach her destination, and locate the Tree of Life in its last-known location?  Will she find the answers she so desperately seeks? 

As well as being an intriguing mystery which gave me Enola Holmes vibes, it is also the story of a girl who is grieving the loss of her beloved mother.  Hers is a journey not only to solve the mystery of her mother’s final discovery, but also a journey through the depths of grief to some sort of acceptance and resurrection of hope where she is able to say goodbye and appreciate the strength to be gained from memories.  Wendington has just become one of my favourite characters!  She is astute, curious and quick-witted; a booklover; and, has a keen interest in engineering, a skill she makes good use of.  She has a real inner strength and shows great courage and tenacity when facing grave danger all whilst grieving the loss of her mother.  She is an unconventional young lady, not living by the expectations of the time, and I adored her!

This is an unmissable adventure for readers of 10+ who will be swept into an exhilarating and enthralling mystery.

Thank you to uclan publishing for a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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