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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone | Kingdom and Empires #1

by Jaclyn Moriarty

April 1, 2019.Beth.2 Likes.0 Comments
This is definitely not one of those books that claims to have a character travel and then they only go to one place.

Bronte Mettlestone was ten years old when her parents were killed by pirates. She was raised by her Aunt Isabelle and the Butler and hardly knew her parents so it didn’t bother her as much as you might think. But Bronte’s parents left an extremely detailed will, that if not followed to the letter, Bronte’s home will be torn apart. Bronte proceeds to travel to the strange and eccentric homes of her ten other aunts, to give them the presents her parents left them. Along the way she must avoid Whisperers and other nasty creatures, as well as discovering that not everything was as it seemed…

I loved this book. It was interesting and creative and engaging. I loved the characters, especially Bronte, and the story was unique and chock full of stuff. This is definitely not one of those books that claims to have a character travel and then they only go to one place. Bronte goes all over, visiting dragons and mountains and islands and cruise ships, meeting the local creatures such as elves and water sprites in each place. For only being 10 years old, Bronte is resourceful, responsible and courageous. I loved her voice in the book, especially her commentary on her adventures. She was an enjoyable character to spend time with.

I loved the other characters in the book as well. Even when they didn’t have much page time, they still felt fully fleshed out and interesting. I looked forward to each visit and who we would meet next. Another thing I really liked was all the little threads that were woven through the story and would become relevant here and there. It was a lot of fun when one would pop up from chapters ago, or even from the very beginning, and while some were in plain sight, others were very clever. For a younger reader I can see how putting the pieces together, especially to figure out the puzzles at the end, would really add to the book.

There is a lot going on in this book, with can seem a bit daunting. Needing to visit ten individual characters, plus side characters within these visits, plus magical creatures plus the extra bit of story that happens at the end, can feel like a lot. What lessened that for me was the short story feel the chapters had. While there was an overarching plot flowing throughout the whole book, it would be easy to just read a chapter or two at a time and still feel like you were getting enough story. The different Aunt’s stories could easily stand on their own, and the final chapters wrap the little stories up nicely.

My only complaint with this book is that Moriarty has set the story in a magical place that feels very much like our world. So sometimes little things pop out that are jarring or strange and interrupted the flow of the book for me. For example, Bronte is on a Cruise ship with two of her Aunts and meets another girl and boy. The girl raises her hand asking for a high five and the boy tells her to stop because no one ever knows what that means. Potentially, this could be a funny moment, but mostly I just found it confusing and unnecessary.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read, fun, interesting and had some really great characters in it. I also thought it would be a great book to read if you only wanted to do a chapter or two each day, as the small stories within the larger one were just as enjoyable.

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