Never Lore: Journey to Mt. Smolder
Taya Okerlund and Nathan Okerlund
Published March 31, 2023
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About Never Lore: Journey to Mt. Smolder
NOTICE: Explosive content contained within. (Rebel boys and indomitable girls have always been a combustible combination.)
All the signs of Fairy’s unraveling were there: a strict rationing of pixie dust; the disappearance of a magical species; a reckless reliance on spies plucked from human orphanages. Annabelle was no orphan. Her father was perhaps the most infamous man in Childerbridge-and she’d never live down the shame of it, though she’d also never accept that the charges against him were true-not most of the time.
She’ll have to go to the end of Never to prove what is true…about Never itself, about her father, and her own work-worn self.
I knew from the moment I read the cover copy that I wanted to read this book. It’s got a great voice and characters that drew me in immediately. I loved the smart, fun writing and the Peter-Pan-adjacent story.
Annabelle has a hard life, and then, like Alice, she finds herself transported to another world and involved in very foreign politics. I liked the way she handled the Lost Boys and the deliberate but also nontraditional ways she helped them. The scene with her and the mermaids was one of my favorites.
The story moves at a pretty quick pace– in a good way– and kept me turning its pages. It had some twists and turns and lots of unexpected moments, but I felt like they all fit together pretty well. I really liked the development of the relationship between Annabelle and Fetch.
I think fans of THE DRAGON WITH THE CHOCOLATE HEART by Stephanie Burgis or who enjoy middle grade fantasy will want to check this one out.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Major characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Annabelle’s father is a magician. She meets fairies and pixies and other magical creatures.
Situations of peril. One scene contains a battle between characters and a shadowy monster.
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