Book Review: Miss Mabel's School for Girls
As soon as I read it I have wanted to write Bam in every blog post I've done ever since. But obviously THAT WOULD BE COPYING so I can't.
So anyway, turns out that Katie Cross wrote a book. And it's really good. And no, she doesn't say 'Bam' in it, and no, it's not laugh-out-loud-hilarious, which was, if I'm honest, what I guess I was expecting (because her blog is very, very funny), but even so, It's Really Good.
When I started out, I was a little sceptical. I mean, for me, Harry Potter is the 'Bam', if you like, (there, I used it!) of the magical realism world. The gold standard. I don't read a lot of witchy/wizardy type stuff, so I'm not used to entering other fantasy worlds and just accepting it as is and for the first two pages all I could think was, When's Hermione coming in? and Why don't they call them Muggles?
But it only took those first two pages before I was there. In the Network. Running through the scary forest, with Bianca, the girl who has everything to lose, everything to hide and hardly any time to waste, and freaky-scary-gorgeous Miss Mabel, who probably is as horrible a villain as I've encountered in a while.
There's no point me outlining the story for you. If you like magical realism, witches, potions and well-crafted alternative lands, if you like good writing and quirky characters that pop off the page, if you like getting into a series of books that have a good underlying plot, you are going to like it, no more persuasion needed.
I should say now, though, that people who read this are going to be annoyed with Katie Cross for not writing Book No 2 immediately because they are not going to want to wait to find out what happens. If that happens to be you, don't blame me. Write to Katie Cross and tell her to get her skates on.
Miss Mabel's School for Girls comes out March 27. Look for it everywhere.
You might also enjoy this Pinterest tour of Letum Wood and the Network.