Genre: YA alternate history
Length: 489 pages
Setting: 1891, starting in Boston and traveling throughout North America
Interest: While I can’t remember how I found this book in the first place, I know I put it on my reading list because it was a YA book about maps. Sounds interesting to me!
Summary: While the setting is Boston, the world has been separated into multiple Ages during the Great Disruption. Sophia’s family has always been Explorers, but her parents disappeared when she was young. She lives with her Uncle Shadrack, who’s on the wrong side of a political fight to close the borders of their country. Shadrack is kidnapped and he sends Sophia on a journey to find an old friend, Veressa, with a special glass map. Sophia’s joined by Theo, originally from the Badlands, on the journey to Nochtland. It turns out the Sandmen who captured Shadrack were searching for the water map of the world. They want to rewrite history to eliminate the Great Disruption. To add to the tension, a new Age is moving north, covering the world in glaciers.
Final thoughts: Finally, an adventure story with the girl as the main character instead of the tag-along sidekick. Sophia was a reluctant heroine, but she did take the tough actions to save the world from destruction. The maps were an important element of the story. I found the different types of maps intriguing, with the different compositions (metal, water, air, glass) recording different elements of the scene.
I was a little surprised the big bad was actually rational at the end and decided to save the world instead of sticking singlemindedly with her evil plan. It was certainly a big turn that you don’t often see in a story. While the main driver for this book’s plot was wrapped up by the end, we do get a nice teaser to read the next book when Sophia gets an old letter from her parents.
Title comes from: The glass map Uncle Shadrack gave Sophia had one sentence on it in multiple languages.
Reading challenges fulfilled: 57/100 in my 100 Book Challenge
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