City of Thirst (Map to Everywhere #2)
Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published on October 13, 2015
About City of Thirst
When the magical waters of the Pirate Stream begin flooding Marrill’s world, the only way to stop the destruction is to return to the Stream and find the source of the mysterious Iron Tide. Reunited with her best friend Fin–who has been forgotten all over again–Marrill, her disbelieving babysitter, and the Enterprising Kraken crew must make the treacherous trek to the towering, sliding, impossible world of Monerva and uncover the secrets of its long-lost wish machine. Only there can Fin wish to finally be remembered. Only there can Marrill wish to save her world and all the people she loves. But to get everything they’ve ever wanted, Marrill and Fin may have to give up on the most important thing they already have: each other.
City of Thirst has been on my reading list since I first read The Map to Everywhere back in 2014. I love the imaginative story world and especially the relationships between characters. Fin, whom the crew continually forgets, and his struggle to become memorable hooked me from page one. I love Marrill and her determined babysitter, Remy, and watching them navigate the foreign world of the Pirate Stream.
I also thought it was really clever that the story opens with a kind of recap in the form of Marrill’s homework assignment which has been corrected by Remy. The essay describes Marrill’s first visit to the Pirate Stream. It gives enough detail to orient readers to this second book whether they’ve read the first one and forgotten it or needed a quick refresher before diving into this second book.
The story explores themes about the value of friendship and what happens when we take each other for granted. It also winds its way into explorations about how desire can be a positive idea when it motivates us to help others but can become a destructive force when we begin to value our own wishes over the needs of others.
Filled with whimsical characters and places, City of Thirst is a great book for fans of adventure and fantasy. I think you could read it without having first read The Map to Everywhere, but honestly, I don’t know why you’d want to, since Map is a fantastic book, too.
Marrill and her babysitter are white characters. Fin is described as a boy with olive skin and dark eyes. The rest of the cast includes made up creatures and races from civilizations along the Pirate Stream.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
There’s a bit of boy/girl attraction between a few characters and one almost-kiss. A minor character references and introduces the crew to her “missus.”
Some references to magic and prophesies. Fin and Marrill search for a wishing machine which can grant any wish. The cost of the wish may be higher than the wish-maker imagines, though. The story explores some themes about the dangers of chasing desire and letting want for something control one’s actions.
A fire and a magical stream both threaten Marrill and crew at different times.