Realm of the Blue Mist

Scholastic Graphix. (The Rema Chronicles: Bk. 1). Apr. 2022. 272p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781338115154; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781338115130.
Gr 4-8–Readers will be captivated by this first installment in the “Rema Chronicles,” which successfully combines action, fantasy, romance, and manga-style artwork. Tabetha lives in a town that is home to a giant tree called Yggdrasil. The tree emits a mist that is rumored to give eternal life. A lab was created to study the mist, and Tabetha’s father, who worked for the lab, became consumed with learning more about the tree. A week after talking to a mysterious ghost in front of the tree, he died. Ever since, Tabetha finds refuge in the forest where Yggdrasil stands, waiting for the ghost to appear so she can get closure. One day, she sees a boy with magical powers, and upon following him—and the ghost—through a portal, she finds herself trapped in another world. Rema is a world created by five gods. Some people, known as geists, have the ability to tap into godly power, creating friction between those with and without powers. Tabetha later learns her arrival in Rema wasn’t an accident, and she must figure out her destiny there if she wants to return home. Through her art and text, Kibuishi proves herself to be an expert storyteller. Beautiful dome architecture, a purple and blue color scheme, intricate clothing designs, and a detailed creation myth take readers directly into the magical world of Rema.
VERDICT A first purchase for middle grade and middle school collections, this series opener is sure to be a hit.

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