Huzzah! Another excellent installment in The Explorers series! To say that I've been waiting eagerly for this book is an understatement. When last we left Evie and Sebastian, they had both grown so much as characters. They had struggled with their views of the world being thrown in chaos, come out the other side, and found themselves in situations that they never could have expected. If you missed my review of the first book, I'll quickly tell you that I loved it. I've been so ready for more, for so long.
This book did not disappoint! It starts with a bang as we find our characters on separate, but equally harrowing, journeys. I have to say, the amount of character growth that Adrienne Kress manages to fit into this second installment is admirable. Instead of leaving Sebastian and Evie at the level of that they achieved at the end of the last book, she pushes their limits even further. I loved watching Evie, our brave but still nervous heroine, learn to believe in her abilities. Equally so, watching Sebastian overcome his fear of being in the spotlight made me grin from ear to ear. There are so many lessons to be had in this story, but they never overpower the action and adventure on the pages. In fact, this book is beautifully balanced. I loved it for that.
As for the plot, there's a ton of forward movement in this story. We meet a new member of the Filipendulous Five, and find new clues in the mystery surrounding Evie's missing grandfather. We visit strange new lands, and dive further into the imaginative world that Kress has built. I'll admit, since I wasn't sure how many books will be in this series, I was worried that this story might suffer from middle book syndrome. It did not. It was fun, fast-paced, and full of wonder. As an adult reader, I was enhanted. I can only imagine how much fun the age group this book is aimed at will have!
Long story short, this book is wonderful. It's an excellent second installment to this series and, once again, I can't wait to see what happens next! If you haven't started adventuring with Evie and Sebastian yet, please do! There's a pig in a teeny hat waiting for you, and so much more.