Synopses & Reviews
When Felix's parents take him to "The Divide" a spot in Costa Rica where the waters that run down to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans separate Felix finds himself in a bizarre parallel world where mythical creatures and magic are a reality. There, he meets Betony, a tangle child and herbalist who becomes his friend in this strange land. As Felix explores this new world he soon discovers that its mythical beasts and fairy folk think Felix is a legendary creature who uses practical science instead of magic! Will Felix ever find his way back home...and will he want to?
"[O]nce the ball gets rolling, the story is inviting....The tale ends...with a nicely constructed cliff-hanger, leaving those who enjoyed this odd journey hungry for the next." Publishers Weekly
"Kay's grand adventure...is packed with humor as the protagonists work to turn the tables on Snakeweed and his minions. The conclusion points to a sequel." Sally Estes, Booklist
"This journey to a parallel world is competent but unexceptional....Fine, but less creative than it sounds." Kirkus Reviews
"This is a light, enjoyable read, but one cannot escape the feeling that it has not lived up to its potential." School Library Journal
"The characterization is thin, with the reader tending to lose sight of which characters are which as many are drawn into the story. Readers will not likely be gushing about this book, but some fantasy fans might enjoy the premise of the alternate worlds." Sherrie Williams, VOYA
"This British fantasy is an entertaining light read for younger YAs, with both suspense and humor." Paula Rohrlick, KLIATT
School Library Journal
(September 1, 2003; 0-439-45696-7)
Gr 5-8-Felix, a sickly 13-year-old on vacation with his parents in Costa Rica, stands astride the Continental Divide and is transported into a world in which mythological creatures are real and humans are believed to be myths. Felix first meets a griffin, called a brazzle. Soon he meets Betony, a tangle child, known to humans as an elf. They enlist some brittlehorns (unicorns) to help Felix try to find a magical cure for his heart defect. Things go badly, though, because Snakeweed, an evil japegrin (pixie), has a plan to make a great deal of money selling bogus healing potions that are sometimes fatal. After a series of adventures, Felix is indeed healed by magic and manages to be transported back home, but Snakeweed and a couple of other evil creatures join him. This leaves the way open for a sequel. Unfortunately, while Felix and Betony do brave things, they are not well developed as characters and it is hard to become emotionally involved with them. Unicorns and brownies die, and other wonderful beings are placed in grave danger, but no one seems to care as much as they should. Felix himself is cured without much cost or sacrifice on his part, and the whole concept of a world in which mythological creatures are real but have different names begins to wear thin after a while. This is a light, enjoyable read, but one cannot escape the feeling that it has not lived up to its potential.-Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Voice of Youth Advocates
(August 1, 2003; 0-439-45696-7)
When thirteen-year-old Felix visits the Divide-the place where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans split-with his parents, he knows that he might not live long because of a failing heart. As Felix straddles the Divide, he is transported into another world. There, mythical creatures such as unicorns, gnomes, and pixies are real, and humans are creatures of myth. Magic is everyday fact, whereas science is legend. Felix soon enlists several creatures, all stunned to meet a human, to help him return home and to find magic to cure his heart. Things become deadly as evil residents of this new world seek to capture Felix and to travel back to his world to plunder. Felix is in a race for his life and for the fate of his home. The concept of entering a world where reality and myth trade places is an intriguing one, but it is not well executed here. There are troubling plot inconsistencies. For example, characters regularly go to crystal ball shops to check on the locations and conditions of friends and relatives in other towns, but when the police seek an escaped criminal, they use "wanted" posters. The characterization is thin, with the reader tending to lose sight of which characters are which as many are drawn into the story. Readers will not likely be gushing about this book, but some fantasy fans might enjoy the premise of the alternate worlds. This book is recommended for middle school libraries with avid fantasy readers, but it lacks general appeal.-Sherrie Williams.
(July 28, 2003; 0-439-45696-7)
Kay's "stranger in a strange land" tale takes some time to get moving; the first 50 pages or so introduce the terminology and the workings of this Faerie land. But once the ball gets rolling, the story is inviting. Thirteen-year-old Felix's weak heart threatens to prematurely end his life. While on vacation with his parents, he falls into the ocean at the Continental Divide, the point where the Atlantic meets the Pacific, and wakes up in a world of pointed-eared elves, unicorns and talking griffins-and where humans and dogs are mythical. Felix befriends Betony, a "tangle-child" who, in an early scene, discovers a wounded unicorn. The unicorn gives her a cryptic message before dying. As Betony sets out to fulfill the unicorn's wi
This summer, Felix is spending his vacation in Costa Rica. At a spot called The Divide, Felix tumbles into a magical backwards world where mythical creatures are real and human beings are only a legend.
While spending his vacation in Costa Rica, Felix stumbles into The Divide, a magical world where mythical creatures are real and human beings are only a legend.
About the Author
Elizabeth Kay works as a teacher as well as a professional writer and illustrator. She has published radio plays, short stories and poetry, and two novels for children--The Divide and Back to the Divide. The final book in the Divide trilogy will be published in the summer of 2005. In the story of thirteen-year-old Felix, The Divide provides a mixture of imagination and humor. While on vacation in Costa Rica, Felix, who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening heart disease, falls into a fantasy world. There, he meets a variety of fictional creatures who help him find a cure for his illness and help him get back home.
In the second title of the trilogy, Back to the Divide, Felix must save his parents from a dangerous curse. The evil Snakeweed freezes Felixs parents in a curse that also endangers the Earth! Felix must work to free his parents and save the world.
Elizabeth Kay has two grown-up daughters and lives in Surrey, England.