wonderIn this captivating quest that spans the globe, a young girl must challenge her assumptions about family, slavery, and friendship as she fights to save her father’s legacy…and to begin creating her own.

Hallelujah Wonder wants to become one of the first female scientists of the nineteenth century. Her father was a scientist and explorer, but his life was cruelly cut short by an evil Navy captain who coveted his cache of artifacts. Hallelujah feels a great responsibility to protect the objects–particularly a mesmerizing (and dangerous) one called the Medicine Head–before the captain can succeed. Now she and her best friend, a slave boy about to be sold, must set out on a sweeping adventure by land and by sea to the only place where no one will ever be able to find the cursed talisman: the forbidding land of Antarctica.

Review {3.5 Stars }

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Wonder At The Edge Of The World was a sweet book. It wasn’t as amazing as I had hoped and I did have my issues, but it was still a fun and enjoyable read.

I don’t read nearly enough historical fiction, and I was very excited when I found out that Wonder At The Edge Of The World was a historical travel story. Magic! Evil captains! Adventure! The concept is great and I think it was executed very well.

Hallelujah Wonder (Yes, that’s really her name) sets out on a quest to keep the Medicine Head (a priceless artifact that will grant its destroyer eternal life) from the evil Captain Greeney by hiding it in Antarctica. I’m going to be honest: Hallelujah was not my favorite main character.

Especially at the beginning of the book, she was constantly referring to herself as a very smart girl or scientist like her father. I love intelligent characters, but I feel like the author kept telling me how smart and clever Hallelujah was instead of showing me through her actions. She seemed like a pretty average (if rather curious) protagonist to me, and her way of determining everything to be scientific or not became annoying after a while.

For example:

“So we must stow aboard the Western Railroad. We are about to jump a train, like bandits. Doing such a thing doesn’t feel like a very scientific approach to travelling, but I guess I’ll have to make do with the circumstances provided.”

-Excerpted from the ARC. This does not necessarily reflect the finished product, and is subject to change.

I did like Hallelujah’s best friend, Eustace, who is the slave boy who accompanies Hallelujah on her journey to hide the Medicine Hat. He’s loyal and kind, and I loved the bond between the two characters. Hallelujah herself was pretty ignorant about slavery and the horrible things that slaves had to endure, but I feel Eustace started to help open her eyes and become more aware of the world around her. They complemented each other very well!

The last few chapters were probably my favorite part of the book. Eustace and Hallelujah board a whaling ship bound for Antarctica, ready to be rid of the Medicine Hat forever.  The characters really developed during this part, and even Hallelujah became more likeable. The ending seemed a little too convenient, but I still liked those last few chapters a lot!

Despite my issues with Hallelujah, Wonder At The Edge Of The World was still a great read, and I am more than happy to recommend it. MG readers who are seeking a historical adventure story and an engrossing read should definitely consider picking up Wonder At The Edge Of The World.

3 Comments on {Review} Wonder At The Edge Of The World

  1. Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination
    April 14, 2015 at 10:24 am (2 years ago)

    Wonder at the Edge of the World has been on my to-read list for a while, and it sounds like a wonderful book. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction adventures and I think it’s great that this book emphasizes the importance of female scientists. From that excerpt, I can definitely see how the book might lack in some places, but I think I’ll still read it.
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  2. :Donna
    April 19, 2015 at 7:59 pm (2 years ago)

    I can tell you, Jessica, this cover and title would’ve had me pick it up off the shelf. I know you had issues, but loved the book. I always read a bit to see if I’m pulled in right away and if I like the voice of the book. REALLY do love the cover and title though! lol
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