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Review: 5 Worlds The Read Maze

I remember a few short days before my review copy came to me in the mail, one of my students asked me if I had this book already. It wasn’t even out yet at the time. While young readers tend to gravitate to series, I always find it a good sign when they are looking for the next volume.

5 Worlds: The Red Maze (Book 3)
By Mark Siegel & Alexis Sigel. Illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, & Boya Sun
Random House Graphics: 2019
Grades 6 and up

This title continues from the previous one before it. The whole series, it seems to me, could be published in one giant volume and readers would probably enjoy reading it through in one sitting. Having the gaps of time between the stories, makes it a bit challenging (for the old and infirm of mind, like me. Kids don’t have this issue. I see it day in and day out.) to keep up with events, but getting into the next volume is like riding a bike. As soon as you get on, you start pedaling. A few pages in, and the events from previous volumes come flooding back and the pieces tie together beautifully.

Oona Lee is determined to save the galaxy by lighting the Moon Yata’s beacon, even with all the setbacks she has experienced. Things look up when her friend Jax Amboy has returned, though he is changed. Almost human like. But the evil owner of the starball team wants Jax back, and since he is the one with access to the Moon Yata’s beacon, they must somehow get around him. And what will Oona discover of herself when she meets a rebel leader who releases a part of her magic that she did not know she had?

This series has a tremendous world building around it. The more you read, as more details are fleshed out, the better it is. There is a lot of magic and strangeness. This series really stretches your imagination. This is the type of series that you want to go back and reread as each new part is released so that you can see all the details fitting together.

The artwork is beautiful. The characters are so expressive. The colors are so vivid. The artwork really snags you and draws you into this very unique world.

Readers who enjoy fantasy will love this title.

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Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. Her collection is also the model for all middle school libraries in NYC. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library, and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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