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CCCC99: Siblings to uhoria via the labyrinth

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The Clockwork Ghost: 06/14/19

The Clockwork Ghost

The Clockwork Ghost by Laura Ruby is the second of the York series. Although the friends and neighbors of 354 W. 73rd Street have been dispersed, they continue to work on the cipher whenever they get the opportunity.

This book doesn't need any time to establish the validity of the cipher. That question has been blown wide open and now it's clear that the twins and their former neighbors are attuned to it in ways that no one previous has been.

There is also a change in placement on the road narrative spectrum from 3300CC (family city maze) to 66CC99 (marginalized uhoria labyrinth).

While the adults of the Biedermann family have given up on the cipher, the twins and their friends have continued on. That promotes the traveler from a family unit to a group of marginalized travelers (66). As their personal agency lessens, their power over the journey increases.

At the climax of this novel, one involving a nefarious interest in Nine and other similar animals, the novel sets up the hook for a third, yet to be announced novel. This set up changes the very nature of the destination, from the city, to that of uhoria (CC). It's nearly a 180 degree switch. The set up, though, implies, that the third book's (or perhaps a fourth one's) destination may end up being utopia which is the most extreme destination on the spectrum. Here, though, the travelers are still in their city but are faced with the reality that people from the cipher's distant past might still be among the present.

Finally there is the route. Like the travelers, the route is only a slight adjustment. While the travelers gained in power by one notch, the route has become safer by one. In the first book, the children had to prove themselves to the cipher. That has been done, and now the traps and blind alleys of the cipher as maze have been removed from their path. With those removed, the maze becomes a labyrinth — as represented by their first journey into the post 354 W. 73rd Street days — a slopped underground path and a rising staircase and a door opened by code they already know. The end result of their daylong journey is a transformative one, one that completely changes their approach to the cipher and their understanding of it.

Five stars

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