This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world).
Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was found dead. The talk in the town of Bonfire (in the Kingdom of Cello) is that Elliot's dad may have killed his brother and run away with the Physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.
As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds -- through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries. But even greater mysteries are unfolding on both sides of the gap: dangerous weather phenomena called "color storms;" a strange fascination with Isaac Newton; the myth of the "Butterfly Child," whose appearance could end the droughts of Cello; and some unexpected kisses...
Two worlds coexist in this fascinating first book in Moriarty's Colors of Madeleine series. Bright, enigmatic 14-year-old Madeleine has moved to Cambridge, England, with her mother, where she receives home schooling from a small group of eccentric teachers, along with friends Jack and Belle. Madeleine accidentally makes contact with the fantastical Kingdom of Cello when she discovers a message poking out of a broken parking meter. She begins a written correspondence with 15-year-old Elliott, a boy living in the Cellian farming town of Bonfire, where Colors, "a kind of rogue subclass of the colors that we see," are known to attack and kill (Elliott's father was the alleged victim of a "Purple"), and the arrival of the fabled "Butterfly Child" is an auspicious sign. As the narrative alternates between Cello and Cambridge, some readers may be frustrated by the slow unfolding of events, yet moments of sharp observation, startling invention, and delightfully comic dialogue confirm Moriarty as a genre-bending author who gracefully weaves metaphysical questions into outwardly ordinary circumstances. Ages 12 up.
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Love love love all of Moriarty's books-- this one was no exception. Clever and unexpected fun in this fantasy book, looking forward to finishing the series!