Author: Marlena Frank
Date of Publication: January 22nd, 2019
It’s difficult taking care of a delusional father by yourself. Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh Mallet would rather explore and photograph dilapidated buildings than cater to her father’s dark episodes. But when she’s kidnapped by a creature who carries her atop a flying bicycle into another world, she realizes this wasn’t the escape she wanted.
In a kingdom known as the Garden, where minotaurs pull carriages and parties are held in hot air balloons, Madam Cloom and her faerie servant, Teagan, rule over the land with incredible but terrifying magic. Shaleigh must prove that she is the reincarnation of a long-dead ruler, not because she believes it, but because it’s her only chance to survive. With the help of a trespassing faerie, a stoatling, and a living statue, Shaleigh hopes to outwit everyone. She aims to break the bonds of servitude and finally make her way home. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that she’s playing right into the hands of a far worse enemy…
First, I’ll start by saying what a cool and unique book! I mean, you get stone lions, flying bicycles, and a world like no other. This story takes me back to the time when there were actually good fantasy movies: Return to Oz, Labyrinth, Legend. You know what? Probably just go ahead and make this one a movie to bring some creativity back to the world!
Shaleigh was a very strong protagonist. I felt she didn’t let getting sent to another strange world break her. In this new place, she grows as a character, figures herself out, and becomes a strong MC. Oh, and the side characters are equally amazing with distinct personalities to make them extremely fleshed out!
Beautiful writing, beautiful description, beautiful cover, and a beautiful story! Also it does end on a cliffhanger that leaves me holding out my hands saying, “give me book two.”
What would you do if you woke up in a flying bicycle?