The Golden Specific

528p. (Mapmakers: Bk. 2). Viking. Jul. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780670785032. LC 2014034892.
Gr 6 Up—It's a year after The Glass Sentence (Viking, 2014) and 14-year-old Sophia is not willing to put off looking for her parents any longer. A mysterious letter and a series of tantalizing clues have led her to believe what she seeks will be found across the sea in the Papal States. Journeying through the time-shattered landscapes from one Age to another brings new allies, but also new dangers—for the legendary city that Sophia must find lies at the heart of one of the darkest and malevolent Ages of all. Meanwhile, back in 1892 Boston, Sophia's Uncle Shadrack and her best friend, Theo, must fight their own battles against unscrupulous political figures and old enemies who threaten the very stability of their own Age. This delicious blend of magic, history, and science will continue to delight fans of intricate world-building and rich storytelling. There's plenty to keep readers turning pages, though the shifting perspective from chapter to chapter between three different sets of events tends to make it challenging to keep track of the particular narratives and the immediate suspense and tension sometimes suffer as a result. Similar to the first book, the level of violence and complexity of the narrative make this sequel an appropriate read for more mature tween and teen readers. This title will have most direct appeal for those who have read the first installment.
VERDICT This dark teen/tween historical fantasy is a good fit for fans of Stefan Bachmann's The Peculiar (HarperCollins, 2012) and Jonathan Stroud's "Lockwood & Co." series (Disney-Hyperion).

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