BOOK REVIEW: Emilie and the Hollow World

Strange Chemistry release a new YA book, this one follows Emilie on an adventure which takes her on a trip aboard a steamships and will take her to the centre of the planet.

While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure.

Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father.

With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.

Young teen Emilie decides to run away from home to escape her tyrannical uncle and aunt. The original plan to stow away on a steamship and visit her cousins goes wrong, and she ends up on a different and strange ship. And so starts her adventure as she travels to the middle of the earth to the hollow world to find a missing scientist. Her journey will take her to a strange world, and the various strange people who live there. She will find herself tested as she has to help save the crew when they are taken prisoner – maybe she should have stayed at home after all.

A steampunk YA adventure full of colourful characters, wonderful ships and vividly described lands. The book was a well written one, however I really felt it was aimed at a much younger audience than YA books normally seems to be aimed at. I found Emilie quite irritating at times (but maybe that is just me as an adult), as was the description of her ‘legs shaking violently’ every time she had to climb something scary – a different description each time would have made it feel a little less…monotonous. Then there is also the identity of the saboteur, if you don’t work it out quickly then I will eat my very comfy plimsolls!!

All in all a book that younger readers will no doubt enjoy absorbing themselves in the Hollow World and Emilie’s adventure. But as an adult you may find it somewhat lacking.

AUTHOR: Martha Wells
Strange Chemistry
287 pages

Rating: 3/5
Reporter: Darkphoenix1701

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