Title: The Worlds Traveler
Author: M.L. Roble
Series: The Hidden Gifted #2
Genre: MG/Teen Fantasy
Life on the run from madman Martin Reimer gets in the way of everything.
For fourteen-year-old Phillip, it has meant having to stay hidden, unable to use his gift of moving through maps to search for his missing father. But the arrival of a stranger named Delroy brings unexpected opportunity, for Delroy is a man with the ability to travel worlds hidden within our own and he was sent by Phillip’s father. Now Phillip will do everything he can to find his dad, even if it means tricking Delroy into helping him or a quest through those hidden worlds.
Even if leaving home means Martin can now find him…
Follow in the adventures of Phillip Stone and Natalie Bristol from the award-winning book The Magician’s Doll!
Source: ARC via NetGalley
When I first picked this book up I didn’t realise it was the second in this series (I don’t think it even had a series title when I first picked this up), as there was nothing to clue me in in the review copy I had, so I was a little surprised at first to be thrown into the story without any idea who Phillip or Natalie were or just what their abilities meant. However, I quickly caught on and made it through just fine. Even if I do feel like the entire first chapter is weirdly out of step with the rest of the book.
Regardless, this is a fun, imaginative adventure that follows Phillip on his quest to find his father – with a lot of help from his best friend Natalie and the reluctant and mysterious Delroy. All three of them are Gifted – Phillip can travel anywhere through his special map, Natalie has plenty of mind tricks and can also take on other people’s powers, while Delroy can travel into other worlds. I absolutely fell into their adventures and thoroughly enjoyed getting glimpses of these other, imaginative places.
Phillip is an interesting main character, with plenty of good points nicely balanced with his flaws. He’s very focused on his goal and sometimes misses obvious problems with his family and friends. He also has a bit of temper at times and can be impatient, getting frustrated at the way the adults don’t seem to do anything. Yet he’s quick-witted too and fun to read about.
Natalie is a bit more of a mystery, because this whole story is told from Phillip’s POV. There’s clearly a lot more going on with her than Phillip realises – her father and grandfather are trying to kill everyone, after all, and she has some pretty special powers of her own to try and control – and she can be moody or quiet while trying to figure things out. I liked her, though, because she balances Phillip’s rasher actions with a bit more sense, but she likewise backs him up when the adults seem set on ignoring their wishes.
There are plenty of other characters to be met along the way, not least Delroy who has a few secrets and tricks of his own, and of course the other worlds keep everything interesting throughout. There are secrets to be revealed, mysteries to uncover, danger to meet head on and a couple of villains to both escape and try to beat. The whole story romps along with rarely a dull moment and it always feels on the verge of something big happening.
Sure, if I’m honest there are a few moments of convenient coincidence and I wasn’t convinced by the argument that they couldn’t return home after they left with Delroy (since they’d already gone out and back in the first chapter), but overall this is fun. Looking for an imaginative adventure with some fascinating creatures and enjoyable characters along the way? Then give this a go. Or maybe start with the first one, The Magician’s Doll, which I would have done had I realised it existed.
The Worlds Traveler is Out Now!
Visit M.L. Roble for more details.