Journey’s End

journeysendby Rachel Hawkins
First sentence: “Albert Macleish woke up early on the morning he disappeared.”
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Review copy provided by the publisher.
Content: There’s a slight bit of crushing going on, so it may turn off those who aren’t interested in that sort of thing. Otherwise, hand it to anyone who’s interested in a quieter fantasy. It’s in the middle grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.

Nolie’s parents have recently gotten divorced, and her father’s been living in northern Scotland, a scientist investigating the weird fog that hangs off the coast of the town of Journey’s End. Nolie’s headed to spend the summer with her dad, hoping for a fun Scottish adventure.

Once installed in Journey’s End, she meets Bel, the daughter of a local store owner, someone who cashes in on the tourists who come to experience the fog, which they call the Boundary, and the magical/mystical story behind it.  And then when Nolie and Bel discover that a boy who’s been dead for nearly 100 years is wandering on the beach, things get really interesting for them.

I feel like this one is almost “fantasy light”. There’s no magic, no wizards, no faeries (which I thought there would be when it started). There are some references to ghosts (and one does show up) and there is a curse and a couple of people who are very, very old, but that’s the extent of the fantasy here. It’s fantasy for those who like theirs with a dose of realism, or for those who like their books quiet. That’s not to say it’s a bad book; Hawkins has woven a splendid yarn, with conflict and tension, humor and friendship, one that kept me turning pages wondering what was going to happen next.

It’s quite a lovely book, one that I hope younger readers will enjoy as much as I did.

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