The Volume of Possible Endings: A Tale of Fontania Barbara Else, Gecko Press
I loved the first two books in this series very much indeed (The Travelling Restaurant and The Queen and the Nobody Boy). Both books show a dynamo imagination at work and an ear that knows how to make a good sentence. These novels sing as you read, but more importantly they take you into a world that catches hold of you on every stoney path and in every mysterious corner.
Barbara’s new book serves music and magic in equal measure. The detail is magnificent. The sentences marvellous. The characters magical. The story mesmerising. Ahh!!
In this story, we meet the only child in Owl Town: twelve-year-old Dorrity. It doesn’t take long to realise there is something special about her, something mysterious. I love her boldness. Her cunning. The way she pays attention to things. Little things. Big things. Dorrity tumbles headlong into a gritty adventure that hurtles her away from the peace and quiet and routines of Owl Town.
I love Dorrity as a character, but I especially love the extra strange Metalboy. As soon as I met the beginnings of him in the first pages I was hooked. He may be made of metal (at first), but he is a character you really care about. It matters what happens to him. And things do happen to him!
I love the way you can’t see everything in easy-peasy black and white. Good and bad stick to some characters like tufts of hair.
Oh and I love Owl Town. I like the way the people band together and make especially good plans and look out for the town’s only girl.
In this list of loves, I also need to mention the book Dorrity discovers that is all to do with her — and that has five different endings for her that are very puzzling!
This book comes with a TIPTOP recommendation from me and is one of my favourite reads of the year.