Emilie’s running away from home. Her plan is to stowaway on the steamship to Silk Harbour, to live with her cousin who runs a school. But stowing away isn’t as easy as it sounds and after being mistaken for a thief, she ends up on the wrong ship. A ship on a mission to travel to the world that exists beneath the world’s crust.

In all, she was enjoying the trip immensely, except for the fact that all her friends were in danger. Emilie knew she should feel guilty about that.

Emilie and the Hollow World is a wonderfully fun adventure story for the younger reader. I read it when I was ill and it was the perfect antidote. The story is a little reminiscent of The Journey to the Centre of the Earth, with a fantastical world hidden below the sea floor. Emilie finds out that seaweed isn’t always harmless, stumbles into a rivalry between philosophical sorcerers and does her very best not to get involved in all-out war.

Emilie’s world above ground, is an alternative steampunk earth. The sorcerers specialise in the study of aetheric currents which powers the ships and gives them the ability to travel to the hollow world. Emilie’s a fantastic, if a little naive, character who is learning that life isn’t always fair for girls. She has a great role model in Lady Marlende and discovers that first impressions shouldn’t be relied on. However, there’s no in-depth character development, which I don’t think matters for this kind of story. As one of the blurbs states it’s a “rollicking adventure” and the ideal book to give to a child who is between children’s books and young adult (warning: Emilie does mention her Aunt and Uncle think her mother was a whore).

I’m looking forward to more adventures with Emilie. Emilie and the Hollow World is published by Strange Chemistry and will be available in paperback and ebook formats on 4th April 2013 in the UK. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.