Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis

Fin has a strange ability: he's instantly forgettable.  It's part of what makes him a master thief.  And also incredibly lonely.  Fin lives in a world filled with magic and monsters, all connected by the Pirate Steam, which is made of magic itself.  Marrill is use to going on adventures with her parents, but now her mother is sick again, and Marrill is afraid.  When the Pirate Stream accidentally bumps into Marrill's world in a search of the Map to Everywhere, Marrill jumps at the chance of magic that might cure her mother.  Fin hopes the Map to Everywhere will help him to find his mother, but they'll have to stop the end of all words first.

This was a great start to a new fantasy series.  Marrill and Fin were both fully realized characters, and there's some excellent world building going on.  This is a series I will definitely get for my library, and would be interested in reading more as they come out.

All the different worlds are touched by the Pirate Stream, and the more magical worlds have more of a connection to it.  That's why Marrill's regular world (our world) hardly ever sees the Stream.  Fin's world, filled with magic, has a harbor that connects to the Stream.  If something should happen to the Pirate Stream though, all words are effected.

Fin is an orphan.  No one knows where he came from.  No one can remember him long enough to care.  He disappears from people's minds as if he was never there.  Fin is a thief by trade, and a good one, for obvious reasons.  But it's hard, being completely friendless, having no one remember you. Fin wants to find his mother.  He has a memory of her, holding him on a ship.  He also wants to figure out why he slips from people's memories.  When he hears about the Map to Everywhere, he's determined to steal it for himself and use it to find his mother.

Marrill has grown up with a life of adventure.  Her parent's are travel guide and essay writers, and they've traveled all over the world.  They've never owned a house, and Merrill has never been to a regular school.  In a way, she's also like Fin.  She moves around so much she doesn't have any true friends.  Marrill is upset at the prospect of no more adventures, but most of all, of course, about her mother being sick.  When a body of water and a ship suddenly appears in front of her with a wizard standing on the deck, and then does actual magic, Marrill climbs aboard, determined to take the wizard back with her to heal her mother.  Unfortunately, the boat casts off, and since the Pirate Steam moves, they can't just go back home.  They'll have to find the Map to Everywhere in order to get Marrill back.  I liked that Marrill was realistically upset about not being able to tell her parent's where she was and was worried that they'd worry.

The wizard on the ship, whose name is Ardent, has his own reasons for trying to find the Map.  The Pirate Stream is in danger from a wizard who drank water from the Stream and went crazy.  That wizard, called Serth, wants to use the Map to bring about the end of the Stream, which would end all worlds.  Ardent is trying to find it first.  But the Map is in pieces, and they've been searching for the pieces for hundreds of years.

When Fin and Marrill meet, a strange thing happens.  Marrill remembers Fin.  Now Fin needs to cope with someone who remembers the things he says, something he's never had to deal with before.  As Fin and Marrill become friends, Fin starts to realize what it's like to care about someone else, and to have someone care about him.  That's going to make stealing the Map a lot harder.

The story was filled with action and adventure, battles, monsters, and true friendship.  What will happen to the Stream?  Will all words be saved from Serth?  What is the mysterious Iron Ship that sails the Stream everyone seems to be afraid of?  Get it and find out!

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