Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book by the author, Peter Brunton, for an honest review
Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Fantasy/Utopian/Steampunk/Adventure
There are roads that are not on any map.
There are worlds beyond our own, where cities hang between the clouds and Guildships sail on steam and lightning.
There is a girl living on the streets of London, hunted by ruthless mercenaries and a boy made of shadows and smoke.
There is a place beyond the furthest edge of the Dreaming, where the Lady of The Falling Leaves is calling her home.
And there is a secret, buried in the heart of Rachael’s city, that will transform our world forever.
The Stolen Child is a breathtaking young adult adventure that takes the reader from industrial chaos of modern London to the vast and impossible world of the Borderlands, a world of flying ships, floating cities, magical automata, and ancient wonders. Drawn together from across distant worlds by events that were set in motion before either of them was born, two young women discover a strange connection, and a friendship that will change everything.
If I may be so bold to say…move over The Mortal Instruments, because I think The Stolen Child might have just blown you out of the YA/Fantasy realm and thrown you into the “too much romance, not enough badass” section of the bookshelf. This book has literally robbed me of my acceptance of living in this ordinary world we call reality, and thinking that it was enough for me to escape into made up stories once and awhile. Have you guys ever read a book and thought “well shit, that’s the end for me”, because now you know you are never going to be able to find another book that even SLIGHTLY compares to the majestic wonder that you have just finished? The Stolen Child, is that book and that series.
“There are roads that are not on any map. Pathways between worlds that anyone could walk if they only knew the way. A turning in the middle of a field. A crack between two stones that didn’t seem to be there a moment before. A course plotted by stars that can only be seen when the moon is right.”
Rachael has been dealing with strange vivid dreams and hallucinations all her life. Not only did this cause turmoil for her parents who thought her to be insane, it led her to be homeless and on her own in the street of London. One day Rachael starts to notice that she is being watched, and soon she is being chased by men who seem to only want to bring her harm. Luckily she is rescued by a mysterious boy named Justin, who claims to protect her and keep her safe. But Rachael doesn’t know what she needs to be kept safe from and why she is being followed, until Justin tells her that he was sent by Rachael’s birth mother to bring her home to a world that she can only believe to be made up.
Arsha has lived in the Borderlands all her life. For her, traveling to multiple worlds with her father in a flying ship called The Triskelion is normal. As the daughter of an explorer and archaeologist, Arsha has become accustomed to adventure and new places. But one day Arsha’s father tells his crew that they must leave immediately for a mission that is of the up-most importance, but remains highly secretive about the reasoning. Unable to contain her curiosity, Arsha steals her father’s sending stone (an advanced version of communication, or phone) so that she might be able to find a clue to where they are headed. In the sending stone, Arsha watches a correspondence between her father and a woman from the Chamber of Foresight who explains a vision she has seen about a girl in London. In her vision, she sees a girl named Rachael and Arsha standing together with their hands intertwined and a “seed” is opened in London which could cause horrendous destruction. Soon, Arsha and Rachael’s life start to combine as the two girls try to figure out who they can and cannot trust, and what the connection they share really is.
I know I know. Those are two LONG paragraphs for a description on this book, but trust me, I haven’t even covered more than a few pages there. This book is something so incredibly SPECIAL, I cannot even contain my excitement and already growing obsession! This book literally has EVERYTHING I LOVE IN A BOOK! The author has a fantastic and expressive writing style that makes the reader think they are watching a movie in their head. After just the first chapter, I was already thinking to myself that this book was written so descriptively that it could be a screenplay for a movie…and MY OH MY would this be one kick-ass movie. Peter Brunton has done a perfect job of creating a world that every reader can lose themselves in, and he has done an even more amazing job of describing and executing it in a flawless manner. Not only has he created TWO strong lead female characters, but he gives their characters natural flaws that make them seem more human and realistic. The characters of Rachael and Arsha are literally yin and yang, darkness and light, sugar and spice. The connection that these two share is fascinating, and their story proves to be highly entertaining and intense.
As I am sure you can guess, this is a VERY difficult book to describe without giving the entire story away. I would love to give a little bit more insight to what this is about, but I think this review could give you enough information to jump-start your interest. This story is full of adventure and twists in modern day themes with a fantastical steampunk spin. This is in the YA genre, but don’t let that lead you into thinking that this book is overpowered with romance…because it isn’t! I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone that likes fantasy and adventure books, or anyone that wants to appreciate great writing and storytelling.