Book Review: THE FROZEN TELESCOPE by Jennifer Bell (Middle Grade Monday)

Title in black on dark orange
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: yes - final book in trilogy

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE CROOKED SIXPENCE and THE SMOKING HOURGLASS*

Synopsis:

Book cover for THE FROZEN TELESCOPE: title in orange in a cartouche surrounded by an orange city

Ivy, Seb and Valian think they’ve vanquished their enemies, and those of Lundinor, forever. It turns out their adventure was only just beginning . . .

Ivy and Seb can’t wait to join Valian for their first ever overseas uncommon adventure – they’re meeting in Nubrook, the completely astonishing and totally different to Ludinor trading market hidden underneath New York. But there’s no time to enjoy looking round all the incredible sights – they’re on a mission to find Valian’s long-lost sister, Rosie.

But it seems they’re not the only ones looking for her. Once again the Dirge rear their terrifying heads, and it seems they’re after not only Rosie, but another enormously powerful Great Uncommon Good object. But what do they want it for? And can Ivy, Seb and Valian stop them from finding it?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

THE FROZEN TELESCOPE is the final instalment in the Uncommoners series.

While retaining the whimsy and out-there imagination of the first too books, the vibe of this book is a little different. There is a mystery thread in this book (what are the villains doing?) but as it’s much more obviously villain centric (rather than what does this symbol mean and how is it related to these happenings?), the book focuses less on the mystery. Instead, it’s more of an adventure where Ivy, Seb, and Valian feel several steps behind the villains and desperately trying to catch up so they can defeat their enemies.

A lot happens in this final instalment, which is also the shortest entry. It’s why I think the ending felt a little rushed and scattered as there wasn’t quite enough time for all the action to play out before the next big moment, so it got a little compacted. It’s still a lot of fun, but I wasn’t entirely able to follow the sequence in the Himalayas as they seemed to go from location to location very fast, and a lot of people were mentioned in the lab fight.

It’s a nice end of series, tying up the various loose threads in a satisfying way. We do see more of Ivy’s abilities and the mystery around Valian’s sister becomes very central to this book – they are going to the American Undermart to search for her. Allies and foes from the previous books return, as everyone rushes for the last of the Great Uncommon Goods.

I believe we are due another Jennifer Bell middle grade end of the year, as there were two (standalone) books sold in the WONDERSCAPE deal, so there’s that to look forwards too!


Read my reviews of other books by Jennifer Bell:

The Uncommoners (this series):

Wonderscape:

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