Title: The World Between Blinks
Author: Amie Kaufman and Ryan Graudin
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Published: 10th February 2021
Synopsis: Discover a magical world where lost things are found …
Whenever cousins Jake and Marisol get together, adventure follows. They have their late Nana to thank for that. Her epic trips and treasure hunts were the stuff of family legend.
This summer, with the whole family reuniting for one last vacation at Nana’s home, the cousins are in for a legendary trip of their own.
Following a map Nana left behind, Jake and Marisol sneak out to a nearby lighthouse – then accidentally slip into another world … The World Between Blinks is a magical place, where all kinds of lost things (and people!) end up. Everywhere they turn, the cousins find real mysteries from history – plus a few they thought were only myths.
But the man who holds the key to Jake and Marisol’s journey home doesn’t want to be found … and if the cousins don’t catch him fast, they could end up lost in this world forever.
Jake and Marisol Beruna have met with their families at Nana’s house to pack everything up, and say goodbye. Jake and Marisol loved the adventures Nana would take them on. She was also great at finding things, as is Marisol, who seems to have magnetic fingers to find treasure. When Marisol finds a map in Nana’s house, she convinces Jake to follow it – and it leads them to a place called The World Between Blinks, where everything and everyone lost in mysterious circumstances throughout history has gone. Whilst there, they meet Amelia Earhart, Nerfititi, a thylacine and many other mysteries, such as the location of Australian Prime Minister, Harold Holt, who went missing during the 1960s.
Yet they are also on a quest from the Curators to get a ledger back from Christopher Creaturo – before he can send a myriad of things back into the real world. Jake and Marisol must work together before they lose their memories and are stuck in The World Between Blinks forever – but will they succeed, and do the cousins really want to go back?
Amie Kaufman has released yet another book- co-authored by Ryan Graudin. Amie has released so many recently, I am in awe and wonder at how she manages to do it. She tells diverse and unique stories that span genres, themes and carry diverse casts of characters that give the novels something extra that drives them. Marisol’s first language is Spanish – so Spanish words and phrases are woven throughout the novel giving the character authenticity and opening the reader up to new ways of seeing and understanding the world around them. Most words and phrases I was able to take a rough guess at based on the context, or words that looked similar to French, English or Latin words. For those I didn’t know, like with any language other than English, I read the words I don’t know, and let the English words tell the story for me – I still enjoy the story and get much out of it.
This is an engaging story that mixes reality, history and fantastical lands, with a touch of mythology to drive the plot and characters forward. It is one of those novels that is engrossing yet you also want to make it last so you can piece every bit of the mystery together carefully. That said, there are still a lot of curveballs and surprises, so it works to fulfil many desires and needs in a book like this.
The first in what looks to be an intriguing and fun new series, The World Between Blinks is fun, educational and inclusive, great for fans of fantasy and reluctant readers. It centres the relationship of cousins and the importance of family and memories, and the role memories play in making us who we are. The role of memory is a powerful theme throughout the book, and contrasts Marisol’s relatively stationary life with her family with Jake’s life living in different countries all the time with his mother, who is a diplomat. His experience of saying goodbye all the time draws him to a place he wouldn’t have to do that – but what would the price be?
This is touching as well, as we get to see how the cousins deal with the grief of losing Nana. It shows that we all grieve differently, and we also all deal with changes in our lives differently. It is a thrilling and touching story for readers aged eight and older, and will be a fun adventure and history lesson for all readers.