Author: Abi Elphinstone
Despite the fact I have read and absolutely LOVED all of Abi’s books (The Dream Snatcher Trilogy, Sky Song and Everdark) I haven’t written a review for any yet. I’ve started many but never written past the first couple of sentences. I’m really not sure there are the words to describe how I feel about them. There are few things that leave me speechless but Abi’s writing does.
As a child I (along with so many others!) loved C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis Carroll and Alice’s adventures in Wonderland and A.A. Milne with Winnie the Pooh (my absolute favourite series) – I still have, and often re-read or dip into, my treasured childhood copies. These are all books that hold a special place in my heart and feel a part of me and my ‘growing up’. They are classics and will be adored by children (and adults) for as long as people are reading.
They were soon joined by a fabulous collection of Roald Dahl and I vividly remember the first time I read Harry Potter – I was hooked. Pre-internet and before pre-ordering I happily and over-excitedly queued for hours and hours, in the very early hours of the morning (straight from a club!!), to get my hands on the newest HP when it was released from the local Waterstones where I was at university. (Heading straight home to stay awake and read it from cover to cover in one go.). I can still feel the buzz from being in that queue and the satisfaction of holding the book in my hands – knowing the pages held an incredible story and one I couldn’t wait to read more of. Getting back to a world I was desperate to be immersed in again.
Whilst I have enjoyed and loved and been moved by many, many great books since then, I hadn’t found anything that I would have queued from 3am to buy… until Abi Elphinstone!
My first time reading The Dream Snatcher felt like my initial dip into the realm of Hogwarts – especially as it was part of another series – so when I heard Abi was creating a new series, my palpitations were back! Everdark was a fantastic opening and I would have happily waited all night for a copy of Rumblestar to devour. Thankfully a pre-order – via Waterstones (complete with extra chapter and gorgeous sprayed edges!!) – was delivered to the comfort of my home, just in time to come on holiday with me.
It didn’t disappoint. In fact, it surpassed my expectations (which had been set very high by Abi’s previous writing). Abi is an incredibly skilled and magical writer. She instantly transports you somewhere else and completely immerses the reader in an entirely new, awe-inspiring and full-of-wonder world; that somehow, despite being new and fantastical and packed with imagination also feels familiar and comforting and awakens a great appreciation for the beauty and adventure that waits right on our doorsteps.
I want to BE a character in Rumblestar. Caspar and Utterly are fierce and brave and courageous and loyal – and flawed and unsure and completely like us. They, not of their own choosing, find themselves head-first in the deep end of a magnificent adventure as they battle to save both their world’s (and ours).
Abi creates the most wonderfully descriptive words (wigglysplat, stormgulpers) and names (Crackledawn, drizzle hags) in a similarly skilled and playful way as Dahl and Milne; her characters, settings and adventures are equally brilliant.
I just can’t speak highly enough of any of her books and Rumblestar is no exception. You don’t need to have read Everdark first (although if you can then definitely do!) but you absolutely will be holding your breath waiting for the next instalment in the Unmapped Chronicles. For me May 2020 can’t come quickly enough – until then, Ever dark and Rumblestar have taken pride of place on my ‘best-loved’ shelf (squeezed between my Narnia boxset and dog-eared Potters) ready to be re-read and enjoyed countless times. They are destined to be classics and enjoyed by generations of children to come.