Taylor, S.S. The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon. illus. by Katherine Roy. McSweeney's McMullens. 11 Dec. 2012. p. 384.
This solid steam punk adventure borrows from dystopian fiction in its setting: after technology was shown to have manipulated and stifled human discovery, explorers learned that the world on the map we all know wasn't an accurate picture of our planet. With the discoveries of new lands and resources, however, came a shady, totalitarian government unafraid to use brute force to preserve its power. Not only do the West children have to face uncharted territories and unknown creatures in their adventure, but they must deal with a regime with unchecked control as well. Taylor provides a well-constructed, believable world for her young heroes. The story moves at a thrilling pace, and the adventure will capture the imagination of readers. Roy's illustrations add another terrific element to the story; the jacket, endpapers, and cover of the hardcover book are stunning. I hope this title marks the first in a series, as I can see many readers developing a fondness for the characters and a desire to see their adventures progress.
I'll be suggesting this title to older middle grade readers who love adventure and steam punk, and I'll also hand sell it to readers who enjoy stories and non-fiction of exploration and geographical discoveries.
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Review copy provided by the publisher.