I read The Strangeworlds Travel Agency a little while ago now, but haven’t quite got to the reviewing because this was one of those books I enjoy so much that the idea of writing a review is a bit intimidating (why am I like this? haha). I’m a portal magic fan from way back (hello Magic Faraway Tree!) so this book was right up my alley!
At the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, each suitcase transports you to a different world. All you have to do is step inside . . .
When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds of other worlds just steps away from ours. All you have to do to visit them is jump into the right suitcase. Then Flick gets the invitation of a lifetime: join Strangeworlds’ magical travel society and explore other worlds.
But, unknown to Flick, the world at the very centre of it all, a city called Five Lights, is in danger. Buildings and even streets are mysteriously disappearing. Once Flick realizes what’s happening she must race against time, travelling through unchartered worlds, seeking a way to fix Five Lights before it collapses into nothingness – and takes our world with it.
This was the first book in a series, and it gave us a lot to enjoy. We met the main characters – Flick and Jonathan – and got to know them well enough to care about their wellbeing during this book (I love them), but there is also the sense that there is more to learn about both of them. I can’t wait to see how they develop, and what else they have to show us, when the next book comes out.
I really loved the new worlds we got to visit with Flick each time she jumped into a new suitcase, and I thought there was a great balance of the excitement and adventure of visiting different worlds but also the tension and mystery of the story that stretched across the book. I also really liked the exploration of family relationships – Jonathan’s absent father, and Flick’s parent’s who are there but not really there.
I thought The Strangeworlds Travel Agency was an absolute delight. I’d recommend it for anyone who loves an adventure, and in particular I think this will be a hit with readers who like their stories a bit quirky – I think it’s a perfect read for fans of books like Thomas Taylor’s Malamander. I’m already looking forward to re-reading this – perhaps with my daughter ahead of the next book in the series coming out next year.
PS I feel like it probably goes without saying, but the cover on this book is so incredible!
The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski
Out now from Hachette
Source: Free copy sent to me by Hachette for review (thank you!). All views are my own.
Category: Middlegrade portal fantasy adventure mystery (all the fun things!)
Aus RRP: $16.99