February 19, 2018

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The Quest to the Uncharted Lands by Jaleigh Johnson | SLJ Review

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redstarJOHNSON, Jaleigh. The Quest to the Uncharted Lands. 352p. (World of Solace: Bk. 3). Delacorte. Jun. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781101933121.

Gr 4-8 –In a third visit to the lands of Solace, Johnson introduces Stella Glass, a brave young alchemist who stows away on the exploration airship Iron Glory on its mission to the Uncharted Lands, accompanying her unwitting scientist parents, who have been drafted on this dangerous voyage by their king. Once on board, Stella is startled by the presence of another stowaway, Cyrus, a magical boy who has the power to harness light and heat with his hands to affect repair of the physical. He turns out to be an alien—a visitor from the Uncharted Lands who came on a secret mission to Solace long ago and is desperate to return home. The protagonist ultimately joins forces with Cyrus, and with the help of his invisibility suit, the pair must defeat a faceless saboteur who is determined to abort the mission and destroy the ship and its crew. The author’s endearing, STEAM-loving heroine and magical hero hit all the right buttons for middle grade readers. Stella is resourceful and clever yet kind and caring. Her bravery and ingenuity rescue Cyrus and her parents from the faceless man. The tender romance that unfolds with Cyrus is funny and heartbreaking as Cyrus does everything he can to save the expedition, the ship, and Stella, only to become deathly ill as a result. VERDICT A must-have choice for all middle grade shelves where the previous two volumes are popular.–Jane Barrer, United Nations International School, New York

This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2017 issue.

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