A quirky adventure story with plot twists, Isla Galbraith
April 20, 2022
‘It was good to do nothing but watch the world drift by below them…
They passed over a toy village clustered around toy trees, and they waved to tiny toy figures who ran out and waved back…’
The Uprising is Eirlys Hunter’s eighth children’s novel, and the sequel to The Mapmakers’ Race. It’s about the Santander family (Joe, Francie, Humphrey, Sal, their Ma and a parrot called Carrot) on their journey to find the children’s father.
Clues lead them to Cruxia, a small town facing the wrath of the Grania Trading Company and the not so excellent governor Mundle. It doesn’t mention when this story is set, but I assume it’s around the late 1800s to the early 1900s, because the Santanders marvel at things like heated showers and early washing machines.
The Santanders are funny, quirky, good-natured characters. Humphrey is only five, Joe and Francie are twins, aged 12 and Sal, the oldest is 14. A little bit about each character: Humphrey is kind and funny, always lightening the mood. Joe is practical, caring and a bit overprotective over his twin, Francie. Francie doesn’t talk but she is an incredible artist with the ability to ‘fly’, which means her mind can separate from her body and she can see from the view of a bird. Sal, being the oldest, is also practical, smart and kind. No matter what age you are, you will be able to relate to these characters and I’m sure you will enjoy their story.
The Uprising’s genre is adventure fiction. It takes an entirely new approach than anything I’ve read before, being real and relatable, yet imaginative and original. The hidden meaning, or moral of the story may be ‘stand up for what you think is right’ or ‘even the greatest obstacles can be overcome if people work together.’
Hunter uses great descriptions and lots of wonderful little details, which really add to the story. The plot doesn’t take long at all to get interesting, with the first twist happening in just the second chapter. It’s not exactly what I would call action-packed, but it engulfs you straight away, is light-hearted and a little dreamy and overall a very good read. I recommend this book to people aged around 10-13 who enjoy novels such as or similar to The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone, Nevermoor or the Pages and Co series.
I found that although this book was adventurous and exciting, some of the chapters didn’t hook me in as much as I would have liked and some of the plot twists weren’t the most convincing. But overall, this book works well because it really paints a picture in your head and the in-depth descriptions make you think that this ‘Cruxcia’ might actually exist. The Uprising was a great book and sequel to The Mapmakers Race and I hope there is a third book to come.
- Isla is 12 years old and lives in Nelson.