The Astonishing Chronicles of Oscar From Elsewhere
Allen & Unwin
Published November 1, 2022
About The Astonishing Chronicles of Oscar from Elsewhere
Let me get this straight. I’m on a trip with the following people:
1) Bronte, a girl who makes magical ‘Spellbinding’ rings,
2) Alejandro, a former pirate/current prince who can shoot arrows and make fire from stones,
3) Imogen, who can read broken maps and is a kickboxing master,
4) Esther, who saved her entire world from some kind of ancient monster,
5) Astrid, a smart ten year old who can read minds, and
6) Gruffudd, a surprisingly speedy (and always hungry) Elf.
And who am I? Just a kid who skips school to ride a skateboard.
The Astonishing Chronicles of Oscar from Elsewhere is the account of Monday through Friday of last week. That’s when Oscar found himself on a quest to locate nine separate pieces of a key, held by nine separate people, in order to unlock a gluggy silver spell that had trapped the Elven city of Dun-sorey-lo-vay-lo-hey. The quest was an urgent one. Friday at noon, the spell would become permanent, the Elves would be crushed to death and Oscar would be trapped in this magical world forever. (The account, it should be noted, has been written at the request of a small public school’s Deputy Principal. She wants to know exactly what Oscar considered more important than coming to school last week.)
From the award-winning Jaclyn Moriarty comes an enchanting tale of cryptic challenges, breathtaking danger and 360 kick flips.
Years ago I read A CORNER OF WHITE by Jaclyn Moriarty, and I remember really liking her writing style and the way that her characters have a lot going on inside them. It was also a portal book, so I figured another portal book by Moriarty would be a good idea.
And it was. Just like her other book, I found this one to have a great cast of characters. I enjoyed the banter and layered emotions between them. Though it’s the fourth book in the series, I didn’t have any trouble following what was happening. There are some references to events that happened before this book began, some of them from previous books in the series, but they were explained well enough for me to follow. This adventure features characters from earlier books in the series, but it’s a pretty self-contained adventure.
The only thing I wish had been a little different is that the characters had many conversations or arguments. They were always quippy and fun, so the scenes weren’t boring. I guess after a while, it didn’t feel fresh anymore? Despite that, I still enjoyed the conversations between the characters.
I think readers who enjoy portal books, especially books about magical quests, will find a lot to love in this book. The storytelling is pretty gentle, but there’s a lot of humor and fun.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Oscar is Australian. The other characters are from made up places. At least one is described as having bronze skin.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Some characters have the ability to perform magic. Some use it to cause harm, and others use it for protection.
Situations of peril. One battle scene.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of THE ASTONISHING CHRONICLES OF OSCAR FROM ELSEWHERE in exchange for my honest review.