Journey to the Kingdom of No Return review by Apri...
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Mystery

LitPick Review

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Age at time of review - 14
Reviewer's Location - East Brunswick, NJ, United States
View April Yu's profile

All eras must come to an end eventually. Little Book is at the height of his power. As an international bestseller and bookstore celebrity, it seems he can do no wrong. However, when he’s suddenly informed of being moved to the half-off clearance rack, everything changes from red carpet walks and dewy-eyed admirers to the prospect of dusty, crowded shelves musty with sunlight. As the bookstore sheriff Ranger Depth cheerfully explains, it is the beginning of the end.


Still, Little Book refuses to fade out silently. When everlasting bookstore hero Luke Shelfwalker goes missing, Ranger Depth suspects he was abducted to the dark side: the video game aisles. With nobody else willing to put their lives on the line by entering the dark side, Little Book volunteers himself. If he succeeds in delivering Luke Shelfwalker back safely, Little Book will receive an eternal shelf life and never have to worry about being marked down again. If he loses, Little Book may not return to the light side to tell the tale.


It was wonderful being able to return to the world of Shelf Life! The renditions of existing characters like Luke Skywalker and other unique names were as interesting as usual. I loved being able to explore even more of this twisty, bookstore world, this time delving into more of a tangible threat: the dark side and all its enigmatic technology including a miniature hubblecraft. This book was far more action-packed than the first and was therefore far twistier. I appreciated the deviation from the traditional good-trumps-bad happily-ever-after I was expecting; it made for a satisfying conclusion. Some of the characters’ actions, like Cletus being reluctant to help Little Book in the dark side out of fear, felt realistically portrayed. However, others rang of emotional inconsistency. I was uncertain about Luke and Princess Formalda of the dark side the entire book. I couldn’t tell if they were bloodthirsty, compassionate, evil, considerate, lovesick, a mingling of two, or all of the above. I appreciated how they ended up, but their volatile range from euphoria to ferocity made for a strange rollercoaster throughout the book. I also thought it was a bit implausible for an international bestseller like Little Book to be marked down in the first place. Overall, however, this was a fantastic re-examination of the inhabitants of Books’ll Thrill Ya bookstore, and the ending left the perfect amount of room for a third book in the series. At once fast-paced and jam-packed, this will serve as a hit for book lovers anywhere!

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