Review: Jungledrop by Abi Elphinstone

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I was ecstatic to be approved for an e-ARC of Jungledrop on #Netgalley and believe me, I will be buying more than one physical copy of this amazing book as soon as it hits the shops. It has totally fizzled my brain with its imaginative brilliance and left my heart quivering with joy. It is a beautiful and necessary book which will delight and entertain all readers, young and old. 

Whilst you could easily enjoy reading this book as a stand-alone adventure, you will be fully immersed in the lore of the Unmapped Chronicles if you have previously read Everdark and Rumblestar. In the latter case, you will know that ancient Phoenix magic dictates that the weather on Earth ( The Faraway ) is controlled by events in the four Unmapped Kingdoms. However, the harmonious functioning of this system is under threat from an evil harpy named Morg who wishes to control the kingdoms for her own wickedly greedy ends.

In this third instalment the future of the Faraway ( which is suffering from a year-long drought ) and Jungledrop are placed in the hands of a very unlikely pair of heroes, eleven-year-old twins Fox and Fibber Petty-Squabble. They are descended from a wealthy German family and live in the ancestral mansion in Munich, Bickery Towers. Their repulsive parents run a business empire built on lies, the family motto is:

“Do not be afraid.

To stamp all over other people’s feelings.”

Their avaricious upbringing has resulted in two children who behave like monsters but deep down feel unloved and lonely. Somehow the ancient phoenix magic has unaccountably chosen them to change the course of history! As they dash into an antiques shop, owned by Casper Tock, the fizz of magic from a long-hidden phoenix tear propels them on a journey of the heart which will determine the destiny of two worlds.

“When magic sets it’s sights on someone, it’s remarkably hard to wriggle free”

There are countless things to love about this story.

  • The brilliantly imagined land of Jungledrop, a glow-in-the-dark rainforest filled with exotically named flora and fauna. This lush landscape is cruelly scarred by burnt and barren enclaves where the greed of Morg has inflicted dark magic, and the descriptions are redolent of familiar scenes from documentaries about the devastation being caused to rainforests all over our planet. 
  • The unique, funny and inspired naming of characters: Tedious Niggle, the ghostly ticket inspectre; Heckle the “emotionally intrusive” yellow parrot; Total Shambles, the slow, ungainly but heroic swiftwing; Doogie Herbalsneeze the jungle apothecary and unicycle-riding unmapper Iggy Blether.
  • The exciting plot with its quest to discover the Forbidden Fern, the suspense and uncertainty over each of the twins’ true intent during the adventure and the perfectly described, complex emotional undercurrents.

Abi Elphinstone has an incredible talent for taking her readers on a heart-stopping journey through gloriously immersive worlds and dropping profoundly moving passages into the middle of jaw-dropping action. Her combination of playfulness, visual storytelling, obvious respect for her readership and genuine ability to include a positive message in her stories make them an essential addition to every bookshelf.

I shall finish with a quote which had me welling up, and which I will be putting on permanent display in the school library:

“To be kind is to be strong. And, if you’re strong enough to pull down a wall around your heart, you can fight with the strength of a warrior because then you will have learnt to love!”

 

Thank you #NetGalley and S&S Children’s UK for allowing me early access to JungleDrop

19 thoughts on “Review: Jungledrop by Abi Elphinstone

    1. Good luck getting back to reviewing, I know it’s very hard to concentrate on anything with all the uncertainty. I’m finding it hard to focus as I’ve become the “Helpdesk” for my school’s Google classroom and my phone has been pinging all week, but on the flip side I’m very grateful to be allowed to work from home. Take care & I’ll lookout for your review. 😊

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      1. I’ll definitely read it at some point, will add to my tbr list, great to hear it’s so poplar with the kids too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I finally gave in and read your review which I’d been trying to resist as I have a proof copy on my reading heap! What a very lovely review, no spoilers either, thank you. I’ve a soft spot for both Abi and her books, her kindness for and understanding of her readers shines through all her stories. I’m looking forward to reading this even more now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this lovely comment, it has made my day! I don’t blog as frequently as many, but I do try to write my posts carefully, so your kind message means a lot to me.
      I totally agree about Abi’s writing and her care for her readership. She is a shining light 🌟

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am beyond excited for this!!!!!! I’ve been in a slump with everything but what I felt I had to review having been sent it, and I’ve not got a chance of being sent this so thank you for the push to prioritise this when I get it!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely! And such a lovely person too! We were fortunate to be invited to take a class of children to a talk/book signing she was doing at one of our local private schools, she was utterly charismatic, entertaining and charming.

        Liked by 1 person

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