This post is participating in #KidBookBingo organised and hosted by @AnnalieseAvery on Twitter. Every day there is an opportunity to post a review of the book of the day.
Snowglobe is a hauntingly magical contemporary tale of loss, mistakes and the grit to overcome that has echoes of mythology and a timelessness that makes it compulsive reading.
Snowglobe has a pull, a call to the heart to invest in the story, to stand by Clementine throughout this quest to find out truly what she is.
Clementine is different, everyone seems to know it, especially the horrible Jago who pushes Clem past the breaking point and she unleashes magic with her temper.
Her mother disappeared and her father comes out of his scattiness enough to gift Clementine her mother’s book of magic.
Meanwhile in a hidden house in town, the almost deserted rooms are full to the brim with Snowglobe upon Snowglobe teeming with magic, waiting to be set free.
As they had blood in their veins, so they had magic, fine and strong as a spider’s web. They lived in a house of white marble, and the tower stretched to the sky and speared the clouds, searching they said for the moon. They filled it with miniature worlds, set whole galaxies spinning, caught within glass spheres…
I loved the juxtaposition between a contemporary world of school and homelife against the fantastical frozen yet timeless world of the sisters house which had a portal-magic effect of climbing the stairs like tumbling through the back of the wardrobe into a magical world.
Then there’s the creativity and diversity of the magicians globes themselves. Once a magician has accepted their globe they have the power to make any world they want inside the confines be it an underwater mermaid paradise, the best library in the world or a greening forest and so Wilson has done an amazing job of creating many different worlds that Clementine and Dylan pass through in their escape and rescue attempts. These are genuinely exciting and interesting sections to read to discover what new imaginary world (literally and figuratively) the two will tumble into next.
I’m coming, I whisper inwardly, hoping Ganymede won’t hear my thoughts. But as soon as the words have bloomed in my mind storms start to swirl in the globes, tiny golden stars flashing as they tumble over a darkened village, snow falling over mountains.
The way tension and peril is built is outstanding with a genuinely creepy vibe in the sisters house from the gliding of the self destructive Ganymede to the mixture of fear and hopeless devotion from the imprisoned magicians and crackly whispers of ‘She’s coming’ regarding Io. The poetry and lyrics nature of the writing adds to this timelessness and magical feeling permeating the modern setting.
A genuine creep of dread occurs when either sisters are on the page but without spoilers Wilson makes a very clever statement about family, siblings and mistakes throughout the course of the novel which lifts the novel above the genuinely shivery spooky bits towards hope.
Clementine is a powerhouse of a character with many complexities which belie the Middle Grade label of this book, as so often good middle grade does anyway. This book stands as an outstanding read regardless of age of reader for its deep takes on loss, self-acceptance, rivalry and how perception can build ourselves our own gilded cages.
This book is brilliantly deep, exciting and chilling in places, highly recommended to all readers and I will be seeking out more by Amy Wilson.
Snowglobe by Amy Wilson is published by Macmillan and available from good bookstores and online.