Wonderscape by Jennifer Bell

Publication Date: 04 June 2020

The Blurb

THE GAME IS ON. TRAVEL WITH WONDER. When Arthur, Ren and Cecily investigate a mysterious explosion on their way to school, they find themselves trapped aboard The Principia – a scientific research ship sailing through hazardous waters, captained by one Isaac Newton.Lost in the year 2473 in the Wonderscape, an epic in-reality adventure game, they must call on the help of some unlikely historical heroes, to play their way home before time runs out.

The Review

First lines don’t come much better than, ‘It was early morning and Arthur was already running late for school when the gnomes exploded’. Pitching the reader straight into the action, Wonderscape is a thrilling adventure through time and virtual reality for the gamer generation, that doesn’t slow it’s pace.

Arthur, Ren and Cecily and thrown together by the explosion on their way to school, and rapidly become a team who depend on each other for their lives. They each have a strong voice and grow to understand each other’s hopes and fears as their adventure progresses. It is wonderful to see them empathise with each other and understand that while outwardly, their lives are very different, they share more in common than at first glance.

The settings are distinct and transport you to each realm with ease, whether it’s on board a ship, traversing the desert or crossing a high gorge while wrecking balls swing towards them. Each setting brings it’s own unique challenge requiring teamwork, determination and perseverance to solve them, while the ever present threat of discovery and capture lurks around each corner.

I loved meeting the different heroes within the story as they worked their way through the Wonderscape. Among them are Sir Isaac Newton, the scientist who discovered gravity, Tomoe Gozen, twelfth century female samurai warrior and Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan activist who founded the Greenbelt movement which helped the planting of millions of trees.

As part of the blog tour, I’ve been asked who I would pick as a historical hero and a modern day hero to base a realm on.

My Historical Hero: Joan Clarke

My Nan told me about Joan Clarke when I was at primary school. She was a woman my Nan admired hugely for stepping outside the boundaries of the societal norms of her time. She used Joan’s story to instill in me the fact that I should never let anyone tell me I can’t do something because I’m a girl, so if anyone could come with me to this realm, it would have to be me Nan (anything to spend another day with her).

My Modern Day Hero: Andrew Moffat

I have been lucky enough to hear Andrew speak twice now, and both times I’ve been hugely inspired by his passion, enthusiasm and dedication to a cause that I whole-heartedly believe in; the right to live in a society where we can be who we are without judgement and persecution, and where everyone is welcome.

Click the link to find out more about the No Outsiders programme.

If you could pick any hero whether historical or living, famous or not, who would you pick, what would the level theme be, and what is their hero factor? Let me know in the comments, or better still, complete a hero card and tweet it using #Wonderscape

Huge thanks to Walker Books for inviting me to take part in the Blog Tour. Do make sure you check out all of the other stops to meet the other historical and modern day heroes who’ve been chosen, just search #Wonderscape on Twitter.

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