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Summary

Winner of the Northern Writers' Award 2020.

When Zeina Starborn's dream of exploring the skies becomes a reality, she finds herself in a daring adventure beyond her wildest imagination. Meet explorers, inventors and mighty sky whales in this richly inventive fantasy, perfect for nine+ fans of Brightstorm and Orphans of the Tide.

Zeina Starborn spends her days dreaming of adventure in the sky and escaping the smog-filled city of Ravenport.

So, when she wins the chance to visit the famous Willoughby Whale Hotel—a ginormous structure built on the back of a flying whale—Zeina grabs it. Even clashing with Jackson, spoiled heir to the Willoughby fortune, can't dampen her excitement.

But a series of clues makes her question what she's been told about this dazzling world of inventors, explorers and mighty sky whales. Zeina and Jackson must put aside their differences to uncover the secret plot around them as they embark on the journey of a lifetime.

©2022 Hannah Durkan (P)2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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Addictive narrative, vivid characters, substantial themes. Not just for children

Durkan has created a rich new world with intriguing creatures and curious places. I was transported into an alluring dystopian world of hotels on whales, smog rat pirates, aerocycles and howling woods (to name but a few).

The author tackles thought-provoking themes such as climate, ambition, animal welfare and economic inequality – whilst managing to keep the narrative light and engaging. At its core, it remains a beautiful story of friendship and bravery.

I am 35 and I could not put it down, this is an ageless book that can be enjoyed by all. I am excited to read what this new world builder has to offer next. Definitely one to watch.

Excellent animated narration from Isabelle Farah