You—yes, YOU—and your ever-useful pencil are back in Astorya, the land where anything you write down becomes reality. After defeating the sweetly evil Queen Rulette, You discover that your adventure is far from over. The original Original—the very document that created Astorya and all of its inhabitants—is in jeopardy. There is a way to hide it, but it’ll require You and the verbose Prince S. to venture down to the Other Side, a place of pure havoc and chaos. It’ll take all the writing, drawing, and puzzle-solving You can muster to battle monsters, hide the original Original, and save the day.
After ending their first novel with tantalizing potential for future installments, authors Drew Callander and Alana Harrison are back with an adventure equally as daring and fresh. After a massive battle that leaves Astorya partially in shambles, it’s time for You to help pick up the pieces. Fortunately, your cadre of wacky friends are back to help You secure the Original original. Callander and Harrison play up these relationships while tossing in some new complications as they help You search for originals, head down to the Other Side, and sample copious amounts of dipping sauces.
It’s a treacherous mission that manages to bridge the first book while offering an entirely new, compelling story. The Other Side proves to be a seedy city center where monsters roam free and dark thoughts permeate the denizens’ minds. Yet Callander and Harrison mine it for every joke imaginable, including perhaps one of the zaniest fights for political office in literature. From clever puns to gross-out humor, they run the gamut and the result is a book that elicits both snorts and groans in the span of a single sentence.
Similarly to the first book, there are plenty of opportunities for interaction, and You are fully immersed in the story. Fill-in-the-blank storytelling, drawing, and even puzzle-solving all feel integrated and important to the action—rather than the distraction they could have easily become. It was a major feat the first time around, and it’s astounding that Callander and Harrison have maintained this high standard.
Of course, it should be noted that Ryan Andrews’s illustrations are back, and this time he gets to show off a more villainous side. Andrews depicts The Other Side as a hilariously creepy city, and his cockroach detail is a highlight.
The Edge of the Word manages to have everything a great sequel should: hilarious jokes, all the best characters with some great new additions, and some surprising twists. Above all, it’s refreshingly fun.
Title: The Edge of the Word
Series: Mightier Than the Sword #2
Author: Drew Callander, Alana Harrison, and You
Illusrator: Ryan Andrews and You
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Publication Date: November 05, 2019
Classification: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Note: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher.