Review Blog

Oct 20 2014

Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells

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Emilie, bk 1. Strange Chemistry, 2013. ISBN 9781908844484
(Age: 11-14) This is Martha Wells' first book for the young adult audience but it could equally be enjoyed by upper primary readers. Emilie is a 16 year old girl who runs away from an intolerable situation in her uncle's home. She hopes to stow away and reach her cousin's school, but she ends up on the wrong ship and a fantastic adventure that takes her to the Hollow World begins. Taken under the wing of Lady Marlende, Emily joins the crew in a strange voyage through aether currents to try and rescue Lord Marlende who has been marooned in a strange land.
Martha Wells is a master at describing alien worlds and peopling them with characters that are very believable. Even though Rani and the people from the ship look incredibly different to Emily's people they share common characteristics. They are brave and intelligent and don't give up when their friends are in danger and don't want to bring war to the Nomads. Emilie grows as a character when she is given the opportunity to show her intelligence and courage. She is a quick witted, direct young woman and as a reader I felt compelled to follow her story to the end. Lady Marlende and Rani are also worthy heroines using their brains and physical ability to aid in the rescue of their crew members.
Peopled with alien type creatures and a fearsome underwater world, Emilie and the Hollow World is adventure of the highest order. Older readers once exposed to the writing of Martha Wells will be sure to want to explore the books that she has written for adults, as these are also full of adventure, diversity of race and a touch of romance.
Pat Pledger

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