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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Journey to Zentobia by Stacy D'Alessandro is an exciting, colorful sci-fi fantasy adventure that children will fall in love with. The main characters are siblings Maggie, 10, and Peter, 13. The fun begins when they are transported by a rainbow portal into a fantasy land of mystery and danger. This land is called Zentobia and these two have to sleuth their way to the truth to prevent dark magic from returning.
D'Alessandro has built the perfect fantasy world for kids in Zentobia: Orange rain, wondrous waterfalls, animals that you can talk to, and of course some danger. Magic has been banned in Zentobia, and Maggie is taken hostage by a wicked leader who covets the return of dark magic. It's Peter and their father to the rescue, who find an ally with the good leader of Zentobia. But instead of things smoothing out when they reach Maggie, they only get worse. As the brother and sister team maneuver through the mysterious underground tunnels, fly in shoes to travel the globe, and try to stop dark magic from returning, readers will wonder if the two can stop the world's last gold star from going black and live to tell the tale.
This author sifts together all the elements kids love, and some adults will find this engaging and entertaining as well. The writing is full of energy and emotion, with unexpected plot points and encounters. The pacing is just right, and young readers will instantly be locked into the story, thanks to the author's imagination and good instincts for what kids look for in a sci-fi fantasy adventure. For a pulse-pounding read, young audiences will love Journey to Zentobia by Stacy D'Alessandro. It is a must-read.