9780734418074 | RRP $16.99
When you receive a proof copy of an upcoming debut novel about which the publisher says stuff like ‘sold by eight-way auction’ and ‘film rights pre-empted’ you can assume it’s going to be a cracker.
And it is that indeed. Written by Jessica Townsend (Sunshine Coast! Yay!) this is going to be a phenomenon and garner readers from young to old.
Morrigan is a cursed child. These children have been born on the Eventide of a new age and their curse is to die on the next Eventide of a new age. For all her almost-eleven years Morrigan has lived with the cruel rejection of everyone around her including her family. But things are about to change for her in the most spectacular way. Finding herself at Bid Day where children who have completed prep school are sought after by education bidders, to be trained up in whatever calling, Morrigan is startled to receive bids of her own. Who on earth would bid on a cursed child?
Before this puzzle can progress further, Eventide is upon her and so is one of the bidders. The flamboyant and charismatic Jupiter North appears at her home and after much debate with her family, whisks her away in the nick of time as they are chased by the Hunt of Dark and Shadow pursuing Morrigan, in expectation of her death. Jupiter’s rescue takes Morrigan to Nevermoor where she is, for the first time in her life, made to feel welcome by many (but not all) and that she could have a purpose.
She is set to work to pass the trials required to become a member of the Wunder Society and this is a fraught experience for her in many ways, but always with the support of new friends. Not all is well though. The mysterious Mr Jones (another of her initial bidders) keeps appearing at random, other trial contenders are contemptuous of her lack of skill and a nasty law enforcement agent is determined to oust her on grounds of being an illegal immigrant.
This is filled with humour, charm, love, despair, spookiness and good fun. Although it took me a week to get through it that was only because I was so tired each night I only managed a few chapters at a time. In holiday time it would have been consumed in one go.
I have already been promoting it to my readers from around ten years up and even my big girls in Book Club are keen to get their hands on it.
Be warned – this is going to be a ‘must have’ and you would do well to make sure it’s on your shopping list.
Highly recommended for all readers from middle primary upwards!