Published by Five Mile Press, Hot Key Books on February 6, 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Middle Grade
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Eleven-year-old Ophelia might not be brave, but she certainly is curious. Her family are still reeling from her mother's death, and in a bid to cheer everyone up, her father has taken a job at a fantastically enormous and gothic museum in a city where it never stops snowing. Ophelia can't wait to explore - and she quickly discovers an impossibility. In a forgotten room, down a very dark corridor, she finds a boy, who says he's been imprisoned for three-hundred-and-three-years by an evil Snow Queen who has a clock that is ticking down towards the end of the world.
A sensible girl like Ophelia doesn't quite believe him, of course, but there's no denying he needs her help. There are many other, darker, impossibilities in this museum too. Ghosts, wolves, Misery Birds, magical swords - and even fabled Snow Queens - will all do their very best to stop Ophelia and hurt her family. She will have to garner all her courage, strength and cleverness if she is to rescue this most Marvellous Boy - and maybe even save the world in the process.
Set in a museum full of secrets, Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy is about the curious girl called Ophelia who one day stumbles upon a boy who is imprisoned in a room. He asks her to rescue him by performing three tasks, to find the key to the door, find his magical sword, and to find the One Other, his saviour who will know how to wield it against the Snow Queen.
The story is a retelling of the story The Snow Queen, which seems to be a combination of Coraline and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where a curious young girl stumbles upon some hidden secrets and a magical world awaits. There were a few creepy moments in the story, as floor six with the ghost girls and the portraits of sad, beautiful girls. Her adventure to find artifacts throughout the museum was particularly interesting, as she is surrounded by historical objects and creatures that could come to life.
Ophelia herself is a charming girl who adheres to science and facts, so when she hears of the boy’s magical stories, she can’t help but be skeptical. When magical things start happening, she is thrust into a world that goes against all logic and she must believe. In the novel, she experiences all the normal feelings that a child could relate to, such as curiosity, loneliness, abandonment and courage, and she really grows by the end of the novel.
The writing is simple and appropriate to the age group. Overall, the blend between the realistic/magical setting was a great opportunity to present a coming of age adventure, but the type of story has been done before.
Rating: 3 out of 5
About the Author
Karen Foxlee was born in Mount Isa, Queensland, in 1971. After training and working as a nurse for most of her adult life, she graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2005, in creative writing. Her first novel, THE ANATOMY OF WINGS, was originally published in 2008, by the University of Queensland Press, and has since been published in the U.S.A., the United Kingdom and Canada. She lives in Gympie, Australia.
Giveaway – Australians only
To celebrate the release of Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Five Mile Press is giving away 2 copies to readers of Happy Indulgence. Fill in the rafflecopter form below to enter!
- Over 13 years to enter
- Winners will be picked at random and must respond within 48 hours
- Winner will be announced on the rafflecopter form.
- Prizes will be sent out by the publisher. We do not accept responsibility for lost packages.
- Entries close on 2 March 2014.