The perilous promotion of Trilby Moffat by Kate Temple
Having said that, I have not read the first one, so launched into this book blind. It’s funny and clever and crazy and brilliant, with no 'talking down' to the reader. The pace is fast and the story is twisty, with the narrator voice (a thylacine named Benjamin) reading like a delightfully bonkers conversation that you never want to end.
In the first book, Dream Sickness struck the land. People were suddenly baking ancient cakes, speaking dead languages and then falling into endless sleep. While 12-yo Trilby’s mother was affected, Trilby inherited the treacherous job of Time Keeper and was tasked with reversing the sickness.
In book two Trilby is almost 13. The story starts with a cliffhanger and delves into uncovering more of the mystery of what is happening on the island outside of time, and in the world outside. Friendships and loyalties are tested, and we see whether Trilby proves worthy of her role.
This is magical realism at its absolute best for middle grade readers. A clever inclusion is the presence of crossword clues as chapter names (answers in the back for anyone who needs help!)
Themes: Friendship, Magical realism, Adventure, Mystery.