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Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City: 10/05/18

Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City

Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by Will Mabbitt and Ross Collins is the second Mabel Jones book. If you haven't read the first book, The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones and are likely to, do that first. This review contains spoilers.

Here be spoilers!

At the close of the first book, there was a huge shift in the way the animal pirate world was set up. Rather than it being an alternate world where animals walk upright, speaking human languages, and even act as pirates on the high seas, it's revealed that this world is a far future after some sort of cataclysmic event.

The book takes a much darker turn than the previous one. For American readers, Mabbitt and Collins (through his illustrations) present a recognizable New York (or Noo York) City, over run by the forest and filled with skeletons caught at the moment of the event.

A classroom filled with skeletons

Although this series is British, it fits into the road narrative spectrum primarily because there is no guarantee that Mabel will return home. Or that she even wants to.

In terms then of the road narrative, book two is a CCCC66, or siblings in uhoria traveling off road. Yes, the destination is a known city, but it's time and it's history between now and then is unstated, though heavily implied.

Mabel's quest is to save her kidnapped baby sister, thus her quest is "unlikely" or all powerful since she's not traveling as an orphan. Her goal this time is singleminded and focused on her sister.

Finally there is the path she takes. It's off road. It's through a portal. It's over the water. It's through the jungles of New York that once was. There are no well defined routes, just legend and a hand drawn map.

The third book in the series is Mabel Jones and the Doomsday Book.

Five stars

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