Jungledrop by Abi Elphinstone
Eleven year old twins Fox and Fibber are very unlikeable children. In fact they have been trained to be that way by their very unlikeable parents, who have always pitted one twin against the other. Their scheming, crooked parents (with the very apt name of Petty-Squabble) have set the direction for their future . . . until they embark on a journey to Jungledrop, the fantastical other world of the Unmapped Kingdom, a place where the earth's weather is controlled.
Unfortunately the evil Morg has taken control of large parts of Jungledrop and is spreading havoc while searching for the Forever-Fern. It is Fox and Fibber's quest to retrieve the Forever Fern, rescue Jungledrop and return the rains to their own world. A difficult feat when they have been trained not to trust each other.
There is some wonderful imagery and characters in this story. I particularly enjoyed the majestic golden panthers and Heckle the parrot, who verbally relays your thoughts out loud for all to hear.
The twins, in particular Fox, grow and develop in the story and learn about themselves, their sibling and the destructive negative influence of their parents. Relationships is a strong theme in the novel and the need for environmental protection is strongly implied. Greed should not win over the needs of the planet.
This book continues the Unmapped Chronicles series, preceded by Everdark and Rumblestar. I had not read the previous novels so I came to this book without any background information which might explain why it took me some time to get into the plot.
There is to be another book is the Unmapped Chronicles series coming out this year.
This novel will be enjoyed by fantasy genre lovers and would be suitable for ages 9-13 years.