I vanish for over a month and then I bring you two posts in a day! Truth is I’m way behind in writing and scheduling my reviews and I’m hoping if I actually post them I’ll feel a little less guilty about picking up a new book… This afternoon I’m sharing my review of the magical middle grade adventure The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L. D. Lapinski
Author: L. D. Lapinski
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Publication Date: 30th April 2020
About The Book…
Pack your suitcase for a magical adventure! Perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The Train to Impossible Places.
At the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, each suitcase transports you to a different world. All you have to do is step inside . . .
When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds of other worlds just steps away from ours. All you have to do to visit them is jump into the right suitcase. Then Flick gets the invitation of a lifetime: join Strangeworlds’ magical travel society and explore other worlds.
But, unknown to Flick, the world at the very centre of it all, a city called Five Lights, is in danger. Buildings and even streets are mysteriously disappearing. Once Flick realizes what’s happening she must race against time, travelling through unchartered worlds, seeking a way to fix Five Lights before it collapses into nothingness — and takes our world with it.
What I Thought…
Flick Hudson’s parents have moved from the city to a new estate attached to a little village and one long dull summer holiday spent babysitting her baby brother looms in front of her until she stumbles across The Strangeworlds Travel Agency and discovers she’s one of the few capable of viewing the magic in the air. Suddenly her summer won’t be quite so dull…
The Strangeworlds Travel Agency had me hooked from the first chapter when a couple emerged soaking wet from a suitcase and didn’t let me go until I’d reached the final pages and discovered what had happened to our central pairing! I’ll talk a little more about the magical worldbuilding in a moment, but first I’m just going to touch on the intrigue that had me hooked! No spoilers here but the way the mystery unraveled and the feeling of urgency increased as we moved towards the climax was superb. I just needed to know if the conflict would be resolved and that everything would work out fine!
Onto the characters – starting with Jonathan Mercator, Head Custodian of The Strangeworlds Society. I have a bit of a complex relationship with Jonathan… Anyone that knows me will know I’m totally their for his snark. As we discover more about him, and his family history my empathy for him definitely grew but at the same time he does make some dodgy decisions, even if he thinks he’s doing it for the right reason. I’m pretty sure he’s won me over completely now, but we’ll see what the next book brings!
Next up let’s talk about Flick, I felt so bad for Flick at the start of this book. I don’t think her parents are inherently bad people but at the same time reading about Flick getting stuck being her baby brother’s babysitter on a regular basis made me so grateful that there wasn’t a big enough age gap between me and my brother for that to have been an option for my parents! I so enjoyed following Flick’s journey of discovery, and I’m so here for discovering more about her, without giving anything away there’s a little reveal near the end that has me dying to know more!
I also want to give a special mention to Nicc, a feisty little thief in the City of Five Lights, I’m really hoping we’ll see more of her going forward!
The various worlds, created by L. D. Lapinski, and entered through a suitcase are just wonderful! Whether it’s the tropical woodlands of the Crystal Forest, the lavender coloured sky and bouncy land of Coral City or the Fae filled world of Tam’s Forest. I’m both amazed by, and envious of, L. D. Lapinski’s ability to create so many wonderful places and I look forward to discovering more in the future!
I genuinely have nothing but good things to say about this book, I absolutely adored it! The characters and the worlds they explore are just magical! The little underlying mystery that was teased has me intrigued and I’ve already pre-ordered the follow up The Edge Of The Ocean just need to wait until April 2021 to get my hands on it! I wholeheartedly recommend The Strangeworlds Travel Agency to absolutely everyone, 9 years old or 90!
About The Author…
L. D. Lapinski is the author of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency series of children’s books. The first novel was published in April 2020 by Orion Children’s (UK), and is being translated into twelve other languages.
L. D. Lapinski lives just outside Sherwood Forest with her family, a lot of books, and a cat called Hector. L.D. first wrote a book when she was seven; it was made of lined paper and sellotape, and it was about a frog who owned an aeroplane.
Connect With L. D. Lapinski
Want To Buy It?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?