Review: The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty

May 22, 2015 Reviews 1 ★★★★★

Review: The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn MoriartyThe Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty
Series: The Colours of Madeleine #2
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on March 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 468
Source: Library
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository

Princess Ko's been bluffing about the mysterious absence of her father, desperately trying to keep the government running on her own. But if she can't get him back in a matter of weeks, the consequence may be a devastating war. So under the guise of a publicity stunt she gathers a group of teens -- each with a special ability -- from across the kingdom to crack the unsolvable case of the missing royals of Cello.

Chief among these is farm-boy heartthrob Elliot Baranski, more determined than ever to find his own father. And with the royal family trapped in the World with no memory of their former lives, Elliot's value to the Alliance is clear: He's the only one with a connection to the World, through his forbidden communications with Madeleine.

Through notes, letters, and late nights, Elliot and Madeleine must find a way to travel across worlds and bring missing loved ones home. The stakes are high, and the writing by turns hilarious and suspenseful, as only Jaclyn Moriarty can be.

angelyas_reviewfive-stars – A quirky but brilliant roller-coaster ride of magic, science and friendship. I love this series!

Please note: This is my review for the second book in the Colours of Madeleine series and so contains spoilers for the first. You might like to read my review for the first book,  A Corner of White, instead.

The Royal Family of Cello is missing. Princess Ko has been left behind, but is valiantly trying to maintain the impression to the public that her family is still around, while she searches for where they might be. Elliot Baranski has been drafted into the Youth Alliance to communicate with Madeleine through the crack between the worlds, to try to locate the Royals and to work out how the cracks between worlds might work.

I had forgotten how quirky Jaclyn Moriarty’s writing style is in these books. It’s a strange mixture of science, beautiful descriptions and whimsical notions. Once you’re used to it’s a roller coaster ride, especially compared to the previous book, which was full of world building and so a little more slowly paced.

It’s been a while since I read A Corner of White, and I was kind of confused as to where the story was up to at the start of this book. It didn’t take long to reconnect. Like in A Corner of White, the story is told in alternating chapters between Elliot in Cello and Madeleine in our world. Cello is a world a lot like ours, but different in so many ways. Their technology is of a similar level, but they have strange and dangerous Colours that sweep across their world and affect the population in different ways. A turquoise rain is psychedelic, while a murderous clay brown will trap and kill you. It’s amazing and unique world building and I loved it.

Madeleine and Elliot are just awesome – so full of doubts but determined to do anything to help their friends. Madeleine can be quite eccentric at times. In fact there were several times when she was trying to work out a problem where I completely lost track of what she was talking about and had to keep going to pick up the story again. Elliot, on the other hand, is the voice of reason a lot of the time. I loved him!

Princess Ko and the members of the youth council are just hilarious with their antics, but of course end up being well-rounded characters rather than just clowns all the time (although they did make me laugh a lot).

The actual plot was slightly predictable. I’ll admit I did guess the major twist close to the end would happen, and there were a few times there where things were a little too convenient (how exactly did Kiera come up with that list of cities?), but it’s really the worlds, the science and the characters interactions that make this book what it is. When I had finished it, I had a major book hang over for quite a while – how could I move to another world when my head was so full of Cello. I can’t wait for the next book!

The Colours of Madeleine

cornerofwhite crackskingdom Book 3: A Tangle of Gold, coming in 2016

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