Strangeworlds Travel Agency, by LD Lapinski
What a delight this book was! I started reading the proof copy, and then the released version arrived, so both of these copies have many dog-eared pages to highlight passages that I wanted to remember.
When Flick stumbles across The Strangeworlds Travel Agency, it’s not what she was expecting. After discovering she has a secret gift, she also discovers something else that’s quite magical – the suitcases filling the travel agency are actually portals to other worlds!
This book has a whimsy and joy that I’ve not come across in a while. I also loved that there’s not really a hideous villain – whilst there are certainly antagonists who our main characters have to go up against, they aren’t pure evil, and their actions aren’t totally heinous. That’s not the point of the novel – heroes defeat bad guys, world is saved, yadda yadda. It’s far more subtle than that. It’s two people stumbling their way through adventures as they figure out who they are and what’s important to them. It’s about the joy of travel and exploration, but also the treasures that you take with you on those journeys. At least, that’s what it was for me. Also, NEVER leave your suitcase behind.
This is LD Lapinski’s first novel. I genuinely hope we see much more from them. I wished I’d taken the time to pull out the rest of my suitcase collection for a suitable luggage photo of this one, but I have another book to start!