- Age Range: 10 and up
- Grade Level: 5 and up
- Lexile Measure: 0820 (What's this?)
- Series: The Mapmakers Trilogy (Book 2)
- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (June 14, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014242367X
- ISBN-13: 978-0142423677
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.4 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Golden Specific (The Mapmakers Trilogy) Paperback – June 14, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—It's a year after The Glass Sentence (Viking, 2014) and 14-year-old Sophia is not willing to put off looking for her parents any longer. A mysterious letter and a series of tantalizing clues have led her to believe what she seeks will be found across the sea in the Papal States. Journeying through the time-shattered landscapes from one Age to another brings new allies, but also new dangers—for the legendary city that Sophia must find lies at the heart of one of the darkest and malevolent Ages of all. Meanwhile, back in 1892 Boston, Sophia's Uncle Shadrack and her best friend, Theo, must fight their own battles against unscrupulous political figures and old enemies who threaten the very stability of their own Age. This delicious blend of magic, history, and science will continue to delight fans of intricate world-building and rich storytelling. There's plenty to keep readers turning pages, though the shifting perspective from chapter to chapter between three different sets of events tends to make it challenging to keep track of the particular narratives and the immediate suspense and tension sometimes suffer as a result. Similar to the first book, the level of violence and complexity of the narrative make this sequel an appropriate read for more mature tween and teen readers. This title will have most direct appeal for those who have read the first installment. VERDICT This dark teen/tween historical fantasy is a good fit for fans of Stefan Bachmann's The Peculiar (HarperCollins, 2012) and Jonathan Stroud's "Lockwood & Co." series (Disney-Hyperion).—Stephanie Whelan, New York Public Library --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
PRAISE FOR THE GOLDEN SPECIFIC
"This delicious blend of magic, history, and science will continue to delight fans of intricate world-building and rich storytelling."—School Library Journal
"Readers who have already read the first installment will gladly savor another journey with Sophia and marvel at the worlds they enter. Brilliantly imagined and full of wonder."—Kirkus Reviews
RAVES FOR THE GLASS SENTENCE
A New York Times Bestseller
An IndieBound National Bestseller
A Summer/Fall 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices Selection
A Top Ten Kid’s Next Selection
A Publishers Weekly Flying Start
A Washington Post Summer Book Club Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Summer Reads
An Amazon Summer 2014 Reading Selection
An Amazon Top 20 Children’s/YA Book of 2014
An ABC Best Book of 2014
* “Brilliant in concept, breathtaking in scale and stellar in its worldbuilding; this is a world never before seen in fiction . . . Wholly original and marvelous beyond compare.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “A thrilling, time-bending debut . . . It’s a cracking adventure, and Grove bolsters the action with commentary on xenophobia and government for hire, as well as a fascinating system of map magic.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
*“Stellar . . richly layered and emotionally engaging from the first page through to the intriguing cliffhanger end.”—BCCB, starred review
* "A mind-blowing debut . . . The bookmaking behind this first novel is as elegant as the maps within it."—Shelf Awareness, starred review
“Wonderful. This author's imagination is just amazing.” – Nancy Pearl on NPR.org
“I am in no doubt about the energy of S.E. Grove as a full-fledged, pathfinding fantasist. I look forward to the next installment to place upon the pile. Intensely.” – Gregory Maguire, The New York Times Book Review
“Not since Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass have I seen such an original and compelling world built inside a book.”—Megan Whalen Turner, New York Times best-selling author of A Conspiracy of Kings
“Absolutely marvelous. It’s the best book I’ve read in a long time.”—Nancy Farmer, National Book Award-winning author of The House of the Scorpion
"A page-turner . . So imaginative."—Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal
“Exuberantly imagined [and] exquisite."—Elizabeth Wein, New York Times best-selling author of Code Name Verity
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Top customer reviews
The new characters are every bit as compelling, and in the case of Goldenrod, truly extraordinary. Gordon Broadgirdle is an even more horrid and horrific villain than any encountered in The Glass Sentence. Theo's maturation is both convincing and deeply touching, but Sophia's equally important personal development would have benefited from a little more discussion in terms of her time interacting with the Clime.
I very much look forward to her conclusion, but am not happy I will have to wait a year for it to be in print.
In 'The Golden Specific', Sophia is still searching for her missing parents, but her ally and teacher, her Uncle Shadrack, has become a government official and - to her mind - abandoned their cause. When she thinks she sees her mother's apparition, Sophia looks for a way to gain access to one of the few places she hasn't searched for information. In doing so, she not only gains an unexpected ally, but ends up on an expedition without her uncle, her friend Theo (who unexpectedly ends up on house arrest), or even the mysterious ally.
While Sophia and Theo were working together most of the first book, in this one, they are both consumed by different adventures, even while starting out with the same goal. Sophia travels to a different age to find something that may have belonged to her mother, while Theo gets left behind and ends up realizing that a terrible figure from his past has surfaced and may well be affecting the present and future of everyone. So this book switches back and forth between Sophia and Theo in order to further both adventures. In some books, that particular method can be disorienting or overwhelming, but that was definitely not a problem with this.
As with the first book, I cannot rave enough about the world-building or the characters. The world in this trilogy is, to a large degree, a character. This story would not be nearly so compelling without the different identities of the places. As for the human-type characters, they are fleshed out to an amazing degree. It's almost as if I might recognize them if they passed me on the street one day. And yet, some people believe that world-building and characterization can be boring to read - which can be true. That is certainly not a concern here. The writing is superb and flows naturally from place to place and person to person.
The premise in these books truly is unique, and in another writer's hands, may have been either overdone or underwhelming. But S.E. Grove has done an excellent job not only weaving the various strands of the stories together, but doing so in such a way that the reader does not become lost along the way. However - a warning. Yes, a new reader *could* come into the trilogy with this second book. I would not recommend it though. Much is explained in the first book, and I believe that those various strands I spoke of could easily become frustrating without reading the books in order.
As for me? I will be pre-order the final book in the trilogy as soon as it is ready, and I will look forward to reading it upon arrival. I will tell my friends how much I love the books, and I will keep copies for my bookshelves instead of just on my Kindle. For me, these books deserve all of that - and I look forward to reading them again and sharing them with my kids.