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The Map of Stars
by Laura Ruby
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3.5 stars, rounded up. I liked this trilogy, especially the middle book, but like many other readers I was confused by the ending. There are a lot of moving plots and skipping forward and back through time, which was not sufficiently explained. That said, it was still fun and imaginative. Her characters are funny and smart, especially the non-humans (Karl, Nine, and Ono.) Watching Tess, Theo and Jaime apart and then back together was refreshing, unravelling the mystery to recreate the powerful Cipher, as various forces sought to manipulate them, including Slant, Merry and her father, to gain control of the device. P.S. I think the device is actually the continuum transfunctioner. ( )
4-. review here
Series Info/Source: This is the third and final book in the York series.
Story (4/5): This was a well done conclusion to this series and wraps up all the loose ends. There is a lot of running around from building to building solving clues just like in the previous books. However, more history comes into play in this book and more time traveling. I thought things felt a bit rushed towards the end and some of the things that happened felt really contrived. I would say the first 75% of the story was five stars and I really enjoyed it; the last quarter of the book felt a bit off and I would have given it three stars.
Characters (4/5): The characters are well done and intriguing. We learn more about what Tess and Theo will become in the future. We also learn a lot more about all of these characters' pasts. Many mysterious characters, such as Ava, are finally explained. Nine and the little robot are by far my favorite characters. I do enjoy the tight relationships that Tess, Theo, and Jaimie have with their families throughout the series.
Setting (5/5): I absolutely love the setting of these books. This alternate reality where New York City was designed by the Morningstarrs into a kind of modern nostalgic sci-fi setting continues to be amazing and incredibly unique.
Writing/Drawing Style (4/5): The book is well written and easy to read. It jumps between characters which does break up the story some, but works okay for this series. I did think the last 25% or so of the story felt really contrived and rushed. Once you get into all this weird time traveling stuff and jumping into the far past and far future it got a bit weird. It just didn’t match the feel or pace of the rest of the series.
My Summary (4/5): Overall this was a really unique series that I enjoyed and I would recommend to those who are interested in reads with a lot of steampunk-like puzzles and a futuristic yet nostalgic sci-fi feel to them. I really enjoyed the amazingly creative setting and world. The characters were also well done and the puzzles and mysteries that had to be unraveled were intriguing.
The thrilling conclusion to two-time National Book Award finalist Laura Ruby's epic adventure through the streets of an alternate New York City. It was only a few days ago that Tess Biedermann, Theo Biedermann, and Jaime Cruz, along with a mysterious figure from the past, managed to survive an assault on the location of the latest clue in the Morningstarr cipher--and, in the process, made a shocking discovery about their own connection to this one-hundred-sixty-year-old enigma. Now the friends are divided. Tess and Theo have no idea what the photo they found in Greenwood Cemetery means, but Jaime is convinced that they do, and that they've been keeping their own secrets from him. As the city continues to break around them, suddenly solving the greatest mystery of the modern world seems less important than saving their own friendship. The stakes of completing the cipher, however, have never been higher. Darnell Slant, real estate developer and owner of all the Morningstarr buildings, knows that they hold one last secret: a power that even the Morningstarrs themselves never revealed. The world has rested on a precarious balance of power for generations; now Slant and his shadowy business partners aim to unbalance it. It's up to Tess, Theo, and Jaime to uncover the Morningstarrs' final mystery in a desperate attempt to set things right. The world--theirs, and possibly others--depends on it.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.00Literature English (North America) American fiction By type
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