The last orphanage they end up at turns out to be a magical city, cut off from the rest of the world. When they find a strange book in the basement, they end up travelling back in time, discovering what is so eerily strange about this town, saving the day (after many near-misses), and finding the Emerald Atlas. I know, I know. It sounds like I just gave away the ending. But that isn’t anything you couldn’t have guessed before reading this book. Well, maybe the travelling back in time part. . .
That’s not to say that this book is predictable. There’s enough twists and turns to keep any reader surprised. John Stephens’ world is intricate, especially with the whole time-travelling thing. That will complicate any plot, and it does so delightfully in this book. Kate, Michael, and Emma just made my heart break – believing that they are unloved and unwanted, yet fiercely devoted to each other. This is a book about love and family, encased in an extremely enjoyable story. If you enjoy The Hobbit or the Chronicles of Narnia, this is a great addition to your bookshelf. And better yet – it’s only the first in a series. There’s more Kate, Michael, and Emma to come!