Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Polar Bear Explorers Club by Alex Bell - review

PublisherFaber & Faber (31 Oct. 2017)

I received this book in exchange for an open and honest review.

It sounded like a respectable and worthy enough death for an explorer - tumbling from an ice bridge to be impaled upon a mammoth tusk - but Stella really, really didn't want that to happen, just the same.
Join Stella Starflake Pearl and her three fellow explorers as they trek across the snowy Icelands and come face-to-face with frost fairies, snow queens, outlaw hideouts, unicorns, pygmy dinosaurs and carnivorous cabbages . . .

When Stella and three other junior explorers get separated from their expedition can they cross the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale? (Publishers' blurb)

I don't know how Alex Bell does it. Frozen Charlotte and Charlotte Says are two of the creepiest YA books I've ever read - I still can't look at dolls in the same way. Then, this book came along and it's one of the sweetest, quirkiest and most action-packed middle grade books I've ever read! I've heard this described as being the new Northern Lights. It could definitely have that same lasting appeal, and as a bonus is more accessible too!

Every detail about this book is really imaginative and surprising, even down to the creatures and plants of the world. These touches really complimented the magical setting and plot line.

The characters in this book are absolutely lovely, especially the group of children. All of them had unique qualities that different people could relate to, and certain characters had really interesting story arcs. It was refreshing to have characters that were surprising and multi-faceted! 

I liked the fact that this book explored some fantasy tropes and completely flipped others, which made for a fresh and fun reading experience. It also delved into some really emotional subjects, such as grief, in an empathetic way. 

My only regret is that this would be the perfect book to read on a really cold, preferably snowy day. That might be a good excuse to read it again!

If you liked the sound of this, now try The Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren, which I reviewed here

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