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The Map of Stars: 06/19/20

The Map of Stars

The Map of Stars by Laura Ruby is the conclusion to the York series. Tess, Theo, and Jamie are at the edge of solving the Morningstarr cipher, but the friendship between the twins and Jamie is strained to the breaking point. Can they mend their friendship?

In the first volume, the trio had followed the clues of the traditional cipher. The second volume had them reacting after their trail led to the destruction of their home and the unleashing of machines no one had known about. Now, though, it's no longer about the cipher. It's about something bigger.

Tess and Theo are faced with the evidence that they might actually be the Morningstarrs. They know their family history well enough to know they aren't related to the twins who revolutionized New York City. They also have photos of a New York that isn't anything like their Big Apple.

The Map of Stars differs from the previous volumes in another significant way. While all the books start with a flashback chapter to the Morningstarrs. This one, though, also shows an alternate set of twins, older and desperate. Their world is crumbling under global warming.

The inclusion of the alt-Biedermann twins gives a new focus to The Map of Stars. While most of the adventures are still with the children, it's their decisions that affect the over all conclusion of the trilogy and this volume's placement on the road narrative spectrum.

Chart showing the progression of the York series on the Road Narrative Spectrum.

The journey through the city for the children is pretty much finished. Yes, they go to a few more locations, but their focus is now on building a device from the all the bits and bobs they've collected during their cipher hunt. Thus, their role as travellers is complete. Instead, the travellers in The Map of Stars are the alt-twins. The refocus from a group of children (marginalized travelers) to sibling travelers (CC).

The journey this time is to uhoria (CC). It's a time travel story. It's a journey from a bad timeline to a better (although with Slant, not perfect) timeline. The ultimate destination, then is something akin to that in "Blink" (Doctor Who, Series 3, Episode 10, 9 June 2007).

The route is the labyrinth (99). Yes there are bad guys after the twins and the things they are collecting. But they live in an alternate timeline, one directly affected by the journey of the alt-twins. Thus their route through time is the transformative one.

All together, the conclusion to the York series is about twin travelers to uhoria via the labyrinth (CCCC99).

Five stars

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