Here is my review of “The uncommoners – The Frozen Telescope” by Jennifer Bell. It’s the third and final book, following “The uncommoners – The smoking hourglass”. Read my review of the first book here>>
“Ivy and Seb can’t wait to join Valian for their first ever overseas uncommon adventure – they’re meeting in Nubrook, the completely astonishing and totally-different-to-Ludinor trading market hidden underneath New York. But there’s no time to enjoy looking round all the incredible sights – they’re on a mission to find Valian’s long-lost sister, Rosie.
But it seems they’re not the only ones looking for her. Once again the Dirge rear their terrifying heads, and it appears they’re after not only Rosie, but another enormously powerful Great Uncommon Good object. But what do they want it for? And can Ivy, Seb and Valian stop them from finding it?”
(Blurp borrowed from Penguin Books)
Review of “The Frozen Telescope”
Now that we’ve been hanging out with Ivy, Seb and their uncommon friends for a while, it’s time for new adventures. Having succeeded in battling evil forces in the first two books, they are now focusing on finding Valians sister. She has been missing throughout the series and the kids have promised to help Valian find her. A clue is found and the friends travel to another undermart with new mysteries popping up at every corner and dark forces a luring just beneath the surface.
To be honest, I liked the first two books more. I read “The Frozen Telescope” in a couple of days and couldn’t put it down at all. But I just liked the first and second plots better, where The Smoking Hourglass was my favorite of the bunch.
“The Frozen Telescope” has a really great and finished plot with no plotholes to speak of. There is a cool mystery, we know the characters from the previous books and can relate to them. There is danger, action, cool kids and magic galore. It’s all in there, I just didn’t really feel the same urgency and level of danger as in the first two. Maybe that’s because I’m a grownup. I think it’s because the plot about Valians sister should have been the second book, and the big, dangerous competition from “The Smoking Hourglass” could have been an epic ending. Especially if that was paired with the final meeting/battle with “The Dirge” (the scary faction of evil uncommoners).
The missing sister
The plot about the missing sister felt a bit flat, safe and ‘cute’ compared to a life-threatening competition with high stakes for everyone (as in “The Smoking Hourglass”). Valians sister has been gone for years, so that didn’t really contribute to the sense of urgency that I felt was missing from “The Frozen Telescope”. It felt more like a sequel than an integral part of a three-book-story.
With that said, I still enjoyed the book thoroughly and the author is great at character and environment descriptions. I had no trouble at all, picturing the events and have them play out in my imagination as I was reading. I absolutely recommend reading “The Uncommoners” to the end, as it is taking on new dimensions.
It was also fun to get a chance to ‘explore’ other undermarts and parts of the uncommon world. There could easily be more books in this series, without the reader losing interest. I hope we get to see more of Ivy, Lundinor and the rest of the uncommon world.
Author Jennifer Bell is definitely one to watch!
If you’ve read the first books in “The Uncommoners” and you liked it – make sure you read The Frozen Telescope too!
If you’d like to read more of my reviews, please have a look at my collection of book reviews here>>