Twice Upon a Time

Twice Upon a Time by James Riley

—In this sequel to Half Upon a Time (S & S, 2010), Jack, May, and Phillip continue their quest to discover May's past and her true relationship to The Wicked Queen. This time the Queen has sent fire-breathing dragons to burn down the Fairy Homelands, destroying the last remaining fairy who could clue the trio in on May's family tree. A sleeping spell keeps anyone from entering the Fairy Homelands so defending it is out. But there may be one other fairy who can help—a mermaid living at the bottom of the sea and protected by her father, the Sea King. The three children try to find her, convince her to get involved, and stop her father from destroying the Earth. Encounters with pirates, mermaids, Bluebeard, sea monsters, and a crazy pirate monkey abound. Children who have not read the first book are likely to be lost as this one picks up with Jack, May, and Phillip following the Pied Piper to the Fairy Homelands and unwittingly into the hands of their old nemesis, the Wolf King. This high-spirited adventure moves along at breakneck speed. The protagonists go from an island of middle-aged men and women who think they are children, to a pirate ship and, ultimately, to a world of mermaids and mermen who have a bad attitude about humans. Add to this an angst-ridden Jack, who is struggling with his own identity crisis, and May, who gives a whole new meaning to the word "sassy," and readers will have their hands full. Fans of wild rides with little time for reflection may enjoy this one.—C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY