The Cracks in the Kingdom, by Jaclyn Moriarty
Series: Book 2 of The Colors of Madeleine
Type: Magical Realism
How nice, a "bridge" book that doesn’t disappoint! The Cellian plot begun in the first book, A Corner of White, deepens from that promising beginning. The missing Royals are revealed to the reader, but we spend a lot more time with Elliot and the Royal Youth Alliance in Cello as they puzzle out how to retrieve the Royal Family from the World, meanwhile revealing more strange quirks about the Cellian Kingdom and discovering more romantic interests than they may be comfortable with.
Imagine Turquoise Rains that create euphoria when they touch you (and can become addictive, as Samuel finds out), or attacks by Greys that can slice through clothes to the skin underneath? How about a Lake where you can fish for wishes big and small, but only if you are a teen? Once a wish is caught, you must use it quickly, before it loses its freshness, and word it very carefully or you will receive a useless result; and be prepared for heartbreak when the wish runs out of power. And we think surviving high school is full of challenges. Hah, spend a week touring in Cello, and discover how dangerous walking down the street at the wrong time really can be.
There are times when the plot seems to take a breather because of the amount of world-building that is occurring (it is necessary world-building, however), and we barely spend time in the World with Madeleine, her friends, and the brief glances of the widely dispersed and forgetful Royal Family, but then the author pulls us out of the lull with an unexpected twist in the plot that hooks us right back in. Friends may have ulterior motives that can harm or even kill us, enemies with murder on their agenda can help us find our strengths, and this book is not immune to cliff-hangers.
How long until the next book?!
And please, please don’t tell me the Kingdom of Cello doesn’t exist!
Cover: Meh. Who the heck is that supposed to be on the book jacket? I recognize the Turquoise Rain, and that’s it.
Rating: 4 out of 5, mostly because of those tiny drags in the plot.