Rumblestar is a fantasy children book, a part of the ongoing series of the unmapped chronicles by Abi Elphinstone. Along with Everdark, and other books Sky Song and the dream snatcher, Abi knows how to deliver a well-built story with rich details embedded within. To admit, it is the cover lurks me in so I pay and bring the book home. Spoil ahead so please don’t scroll down if you wish to read the book first.
Although Rumblestar is the only book I read with the series, I’m amazed by the ability to create a world that’s very imaginative and believable in youth fiction. In the dawn of time, a phoenix is born. While she lives and looks for the meaning of her life she weeps seven tears that will form the earth as we know it. It’s called faraway and with four golden feathers of her, the unmapped kingdoms have come to existence too. These kingdoms can enjoy all the wonders and magical joys they have as long as they promise to shed lights and breed seasons to faraway, for people who need sunlight and weather to survive.
Somehow, the magic wheels tremble and as a result, the turbulent weathers upsurge. They sweep across faraway continents, like a massive hurricane. Living in a nation that suffering worldwide terrible phenomena, Casper Tock is good at keeping himself in check nevertheless. He can come up with neat, short, to-do lists inside his head and is dismayed by those who are messy, unpredictable or don’t have a good to-do list to keep themselves in check. Though things turning upside down when he accidentally stumbles upon a magical world.
With magics, you have to expect the unexpected even in your least expectation. Not only he sees dragons flying around, clouds giants are very real, but also he has been told that he is the only one who can save the two tangled worlds from crumbling. The turbulent weathers back home are caused by Morg, with her wicked plan. For a boy who is even afraid to make a friendship, all of these leave him utterly speechless. And when the girl, Utterly Thankless, who drags him to this unmapped world, treating him as the worst enemy of all kind, accusing Casper is behind all these messes, little did Casper and Utterly know that they are set to sail onto an enchanted adventure that will be meeting absurdly weird drizzle hags, going down to fuming volcano, or wrestling with Griffins.
The most interesting part of this book, at least to me, besides Casper trying to make sense of this magical world in contrast to the science he learnt back home in front of Utterly, is when Casper and Utterly are having their heated argument at sliverbank Forest. The engagement with the characters is high. There is a time when everyone has to face their problems in a friendship, and this is the time for Utterly and Casper to do. Out in a snowing forest, where only white and tall trees subsist, for the two are far from home, their once internal thoughts over another are putting upfront and it becomes a turning point for Casper, Arlo, and Utterly to grow more mature.
As for youth read, word usage and story development are fairly easy to understand. To some, they might grow bored very quickly because of the typical themes, some predictable plots and the author seems to choose to tell rather than showing for the character development. The emotional development, through narrative, takes time to submerge before a rebound. So the readers might need to be patient or they might find the pacing is too slow.
To others, they might find this book entertaining. Some scenes are so sweet that they will make you heartfelt and the overall capture well with the character dialogues, young or old. Of an eleven years old boy and about the same age of a girl, Abi can show you what pre-teens like in action, and their reaction as well as the reflection of their inside worlds. There is a Abi’s style writing you must know by the end of reading the book.
Moreover, the explanation in detail is thoughtful and thorough so the author must spend a serious amount of times to develop and link all the details together.
The vivid details of Abi’s world are also unforgettable. You can indulge yourself in this magical world and do not want to leave. Imagining the eleven years old boy wielding a sword at the flying griffins in a volcano? The little details like the moondust that dragons carry or Silverlake that its water is gleaming sliver, are so smooth and graphic.
And when the descriptions of the scene draw in as Casper finally hops onto a pair of gold eyes dragon to fly back home, after the goodbye he just had with Utterly and Arlo, the reader does not want this adventure come to an end. But everything will eventually come to an end, right?
To wrap up, I appreciate the writing, thanks to Abi for making this book alive. If you are looking for fantasy or some magics to fit up the gap of mundane times, this book is there for you to grab.