Friday, December 19, 2014

The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis

Series: Pirate Stream #1
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Checked out from Library

Add on Goodreads

Wherever you need to go--the Map to Everywhere can take you there.

To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it's her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere--but they aren't the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can't beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!

In Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis's first installment of a fantastical new series, adventure, magic, and hilarity collide in the treacherous skies and dangerous waters of the Pirate Stream. Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.
This seemingly simplistic book turned into a favorite of the year and I am not the least bit surprised. I love all kinds of books but I have a soft spot for adventures. All I’ve ever wanted from life is to have an adventure, a fantastical (in both senses of the word) one in particular. So whenever I come across an adventure book, I become extremely excited and get all grabby hands.  So when I came across this one, all I could think about was how much I needed the book. Awesome premise aside, have you seen that cover? Doesn’t it yell adventure?  To me it did. And indeed I had quite the adventure.

What makes this book so special though is the characters. They shine in the book because they are so well developed. They aren't some mere caricatures there to serve the purpose of an adventure, they are what MAKE the adventure. The book wouldn't be the same without them.

Fin is a master thief, but also someone no one remembers. Not just because he is 12 and unnoticeable but just because there is something about him, whether it's magical in nature we don't know. They could have met him yesterday but will forget who he is the next day. As a result, Fin doesn't have any friends or even a family since he is an orphan. As a result, he struggles with certain self-esteem issues. How would you feel if no one remembered you? The thing about Fin is that in spite of the way this makes him feel about himself, he is headstrong. He is stubborn and he makes smart decisions and he remembers his goals. He isn’t easily fooled. It’s why you cannot help but love him.  Also, he is pretty darn clever which just makes me want to tackle hug him. Aren’t clever thieves the best? (in books.. not so much in real life)

When Marill comes along though, for the first time someone remembers him and it’s so much fun to watch Fin deal (yes deal) with having a friend for the first time in his life, having someone to talk to. Well the more appropriate term for their relationship would be beautiful. You cannot help but feel all fluttery inside since he’s been on his own for so long!

But let’s talk about Marill now. Marill is fabulous. Marill is a great friend but more than that, she is just as brave and smart as Fin and even more determined to get back to her mother. What I like best about Marill is that she seems to realize when Fin needs to be reassured. Considering the kind of enemy they have in this book, Fin sometimes forgets that he isn’t just a nobody, there are people who remember him and people who care about him and she makes sure to remind him of this.

As you can already imagine, their friendship is pretty much full of win. Neither of them have really had a friend before so they have to learn to trust one another and depend on one another and it’s so much FUN watching them do so. They get to learn the friend dance and they become the best of friends. I’d totally want to be friends with them too. I know I could count on them to have my back.

All that said, the fun part. Ahh, the adventure. We spend this book looking for the pieces of The Map to Everywhere. The one that will take Marill home to her sick mother, the one that might help Fin find his mother. But they are joined on this journey, or rather they join Arden and Col both of whom are fabulous secondary characters even though they don’t remember who Fin is (in fact, it’s always funny to see their reaction to him each time they ‘meet’ him).

We are sailing on THE pirate stream, the stream that broke off from the river of creation, the one that connects all worlds together. I am sure this already gives you an idea of how fantastical the world building is in this book. The authors don't hold back on us. We are emerged into this world but the authors make sure we never feel lost, there is no sense of info dump and I felt quite in the element. I could imagine everything happening. 

This book is incredibly fast paced but it never feels rushed, it’s more like the fact that the book flies by and suddenly it’s over and you have no idea what to do with your life. Good thing this is part of a series because I am DEFINITELY NOT ready to let go of these fantabulous characters.

This original and gorgeously written book won’t fail to take you on an adventure, so strap in and have the time of your lives!

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