Bite Sized Reviews: The Map to Everywhere and City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan

January 20, 2016 Middle Grade, Reviews 3 ★★★★½

Here are some quick reviews for books I haven’t gotten around to reviewing or that I just don’t have a ton to say about. Once again, I figure a few bite sized reviews together will be enough to feed your fiction addiction!  🙂


The Map to EverywhereThe Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
Series: Map to Everywhere #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on 11/4/14
Genres: Middle GradeFantasy
Pages: 448
Source: BEA
My content rating: MG (Nothing inappropriate, a little bit of MG level violence)
My rating:
4.5 Stars

Wherever you need to go–the Map to Everywhere can take you there.

To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it’s her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere–but they aren’t the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can’t beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!

In New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis’s first installment of a fantastical new series, adventure, magic, and hilarity collide in the treacherous skies and dangerous waters of the Pirate Stream. Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.

 

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My Take copy3
My kids and I really enjoyed this book. We thought it was great fun and the story drew us all in from the very start. We especially loved Fin, the boy who no one could remember. I thought that this was an incredibly unique power, but what made it truly fantastic was the emotional resonance that went along with it – Fin was such a sad character because he lived his life completely alone, even when he was among other people. All he wanted was to find his mother and be among people who actually remembered that he existed. When Marrill entered the scene she had her own reasons for wanting to get back to her mother. (Note to parents: Marrill’s mother is sick in this book, but it doesn’t make the overall book sad. By the end of book two, this plot point is still not resolved, so I’m not sure how things will end up with Marrill’s mother. My daughter can be sensitive to death and terminal illness in books, but she was okay with this one because it’s not a main focus of the book besides the fact that it’s Marrill’s motivation for getting back home.) Marrill actually remembers Fin, and their friendship became a central focus of the book – I loved seeing Fin navigating a relationship with another person, something he was completely unused to. The friendship was both sweet and realistic – it had its ups and downs for sure, but the power of their bond eventually won out over all of the circumstances that could have torn their friendship apart!
The fantasy elements in this book (things like the Pirate Stream, which appears to Marrill out of nowhere, the pirats, a magical map, a boy who can’t be remembered, and evil pirates) are all perfectly suited to a Middle Grade audience and kept the book feeling unique and fun! There was a lot of humor thrown in too – I especially loved the humorous chapter titles! Overall, this was a super engaging read that kept me and my eleven- and thirteen-year-old kids flipping the pages till the very end!
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan and John Parke DavisCity of Thirst
Series: Map to Everywhere #2
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on 10/13/15
Genres: Middle GradeFantasy
Pages: 400
Source: Purchased
My content rating: MG (Nothing inappropriate, a little bit of MG level violence)
My rating:
4.5 Stars

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis transport readers back to the boundless world of the Pirate Stream in this engaging and exhilarating sequel to the highly acclaimed The Map to Everywhere that is equal parts adventure, humor, and heart!

When the magical waters of the Pirate Stream begin flooding Marrill’s world, the only way to stop the destruction is to return to the Stream and find the source of the mysterious Iron Tide. Reunited with her best friend Fin–who has been forgotten all over again–Marrill, her disbelieving babysitter, and the Enterprising Kraken crew must make the treacherous trek to the towering, sliding, impossible world of Monerva and uncover the secrets of its long-lost wish machine. Only there can Fin wish to finally be remembered. Only there can Marrill wish to save her world and all the people she loves. But to get everything they’ve ever wanted, Marrill and Fin may have to give up on the most important thing they already have: each other.

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 My Take copy3

This second installment of the Map to Everywhere series did not disappoint! This one had all of the fun and excitement of the first book with even more unique magical worlds. My kids and I especially loved the wall city that was constantly sinking and being rebuilt from the top, and I was impressed with the many themes that were explored with this city (the social hierarchy of this world was based on who lived closest to the top). Actually, I would say that this second book explored many deeper issues than the first book – including the possible downfall of Marrill and Fin’s friendship (because Marrill no longer needs Fin the way she did in the first book and she’s more focused on herself, there are some very sad consequences). Meanwhile, Fin and Marrill are both still trying to defeat the villain from the first book – but there are many surprises along the way. There is a new secondary character introduced in this book – Remy, Marrill’s babysitter, who ends up on the Pirate Stream with Marrill. I loved that she was so dedicated to her job that she would not leave Marrill’s side – even when things got very crazy indeed!

Overall, I’d say this was a fantastic follow-up to The Map to Everywhere, and it left me and my kids wanting more! Can’t wait for the next book!

About the Authors

Carrie-RyanCarrie Ryan is the New York Times bestselling author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth series and Infinity Ring: Divide and Conquer as well as the editor of Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction. She recently published The Map to Everywhere, a four book middle grade series co-written with her husband, John Parke Davis, and Daughter of Deep Silence, a romantic thriller, which was just released by Penguin Random House. Her books have sold in over 22 territories and her first book is in development as a major motion picture. A former litigator, Carrie now lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and various pets.

Author Links:

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John-Parke-DavisJP Davis is an Assistant Federal Defender in the Western District of North Carolina as well as a published author of short fiction. He and his wife live in Charlotte, North Carolina, with their two ornery cats and one gullible dog.

The Map to Everywhere, co-written with his wife Carrie Ryan, is his first novel.

 

3 Responses to “Bite Sized Reviews: The Map to Everywhere and City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan”

  1. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    These sound like so much fun Nicole^^ I love a good MG read from time to time, it’s an easy read and makes a change from the heavier fantasy books I tend to gravitate towards. The emotional aspect combined with the fantasy elements sound right up my alley! Thanks for reviewing these xx

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted: Review: Lioness Rampant

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