23. Explorers’ on Witch Mountain by Alex Bell

Having just read ‘The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club’ the first in this series, I was eager to read this second installment and found myself lost in the pages and delving into the thrilling world from the first page. This was the perfect sequel to the first book and also a great book in its own light.

The synopsis (as taken from the back of book), is as follows:

Ice princesses don’t cower indoors and explorers definitely do not cower indoors. I’m going to Witch Mountain to rescue Felix and there’s nothing you, or anyone else, can say or do to stop me.

Stella is eagerly anticipating her next expedition, but then disaster strikes when her father, Felix, is snatched by a fearsome witch. No one ever returns from Witch Mountain, but Felix must be rescued, so Stella, Ethan, Shay, Beanie and reluctant Jungle Cat explorer, Gideon, set off into the unknown.

They will face chomping pumpkin patches, terrifying vampire trolls, poisonous rabbits, outraged vultures and deranged broomsticks in their quest to rescue Felix.

Ability to read – As with the first book, it was easy for me to read this, understand what I was reading and form a clear picture of what was happening. The language isn’t overly complicated and the structure of the book is easy to go along with. I was able to read this very quickly and still get everything the book had to offer. I knew what was happening and knew all the characters that were in play. There was nothing that confused me.

Characterisation – From book one we learnt a lot about Stella’s character, this book explores how Stella has changed and how she navigates being who she is and not worrying about what the world thinks. We see Ethan as a better version of himself, see Shay experience fear and see Beanie…well Beanie is Beanie. The bonds between the four character’s is strengthened through this adventure and they show their worth through the obstacles they encounter.

Visualisation – It was easy to visualise what was happening in this book. Alex Bell writes in a very magical and thrilling way that gives great detail to help the reader visualise what is going on. I was able to get a clear picture of what was happening and use my imagination to tweak it to my liking. The inclusion of several pictures in the book were helpful, for if I was imagining too far or not quite being able to imagine what was happening, those pictures allowed me a glimpse and bought me back.

Uniqueness – I greatly enjoyed reading this book. I thought it was a thrilling sequel to an equally fantastic first book. It was full of magic and quirkiness and the brilliance of friendship and going above and beyond to help another. I think this is fairly unique in terms of other stories I have read. It’s not a concept I have read so much and actually it combines several genre plots into one story which takes on its own life.

Hannah xoxo

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