No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko

Three siblings – India, Finn, and Mouse – have less than forty-eight hours to pack up all their belongings and fly, without Mom, to their uncle Red’s in Colorado, after they lose their house to foreclosure. But when they land, a mysterious driver meets them at the airport, and he’s never heard of Uncle Red. Like Dorothy in Oz, they find themselves in a place they’ve never heard of, with no idea of how to get home, and time is running out.

In a total departure, Gennifer Choldenko tells a story of adventure and survival, set in a fantastical place with rules all its own. Sharp dialogue, high stakes, and taut action make this a book that will stick with you long after you read the incredible ending..

I think this one of those books that you either love or you hate.

I got into this story for one reason: Gennifer Choldenko is the author of Al Capone Does My Shirts and Al Capone Shines My Shoes, both books that I really enjoyed.

The ending saved this book from being average with me. The characters were average, the voice was simple but clear. Nothing new for Gennifer Choldenko. And then the ending came. Let me just say that’s it’s not a fairy tale happily ever after, but it is a happy ending in it’s own way, a happy ending that makes readers think. It is most definitely random, but it makes sense if you think about it.

I guess after the Al Capone books, this book disappointed me. I expected more from Gennifer Choldenko. I just felt that her ideas were great, but scattered. Random. Unorganized, or maybe too simple. It was a great book, I just wanted more from the author because I know how much she can do with a story. Pull out a twist at the very last minute that makes you smile like the Chesire Cat.

4 stars. Like I said, a good story but scattered. I felt that it could have had a lot of tightening up. The plot was definitely creative, that I appreciated. In the beginning I would’ve definitely pegged this as a slice of life/realistic fiction/coming of age story, but then it turns into a science fiction story that got really interesting for a while. A little rough in some patches of the book, but not too shoddy.

pg count for the hardback: 244


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