by S. S. Taylor
illustrated by Katherine Roy
The Expeditioners, book two
Kit, Zander, and M. K. West are settling into their new lives as students at the Academy for the Exploratory Sciences when Kit finds another mysterious map left for him by their father, the brilliant, famous — and presumed dead — explorer Alexander West. Why did Alexander leave the maps behind, and why are government agents so determined to seize them? What is really going on in a mysterious and unknown stretch of the Caribbean, famous for its violent storms and shipwrecks? And what is the huge contraption M. K. is building in her workshop? As two world powers come to the brink of war, Kit must find a deadly hidden island and unlock its secrets, hoping he has the courage to follow the trail of maps, wherever it may lead. (Description from goodreads.com)
When I was able to interview author Sarah (S.S.) Taylor a few weeks ago, I believe I reminded you all exactly how stoked I was to get a signed ARC of this book at BEA this year! I really truly love this middle grade steampunk adventure series. I am excited to report that book two absolutely lived up to my expectations and I'm now going to be waiting even more anxiously for the next book in the series.
While book one introduced the West siblings and their friend Sukey, here in book two we discover that perhaps all their fates are not as entwined as they'd originally thought. As they are learning their own strengths and weaknesses, they are also trying desperately to live up to each others' expectations, and those of the adults structuring the world around them. They are still hunting for the truth about their father's disappearance and are finding strife with one another along the way.
I found the new tension among the siblings to be both heartbreaking and utterly realistic. They are in a world that seems to be stacked against them, danger at every turn, and now with their country on the brink of war, the Wests must stick together, and struggle to trust one another again. They've gained new friends and new enemies, and they've discovered new and exciting places. Their lives keep changing at a breakneck pace and I can't help but be pulled right into their story.
With lots of fun new gadgets, intriguing new species and undiscovered lands, a great new mystery with a VERY enticing destiny planned for Kit, especially, I thought this was a marvelous addition to the series. I cannot wait to see the Wests' adventure continue!
A shiny gold star for a wonderful book!
Full disclosure: Signed ARC received at BEA 2014, Finished copy received from Publisher