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Delivery to the Lost City: 02/27/21

Delivery to the Lost City

Delivery to the Lost City by P.G. Bell is the third book in the Train to Impossible Places middle grade fantasy series. Suzy Smith made the big decision to tell her parents about her part time job as a postie. They believe her but don't want her to keep her job. They are, however, willing to meet her coworkers. So at the opening of the book the Smiths are getting ready for the dinner they're hosting.

Dinner is interrupted with an urgent delivery request, one that Suzy and her coworkers can't turn down. An extremely powerful magic book is nearly overdue and in its last day of being checked out it's slurping up all text it's near. If they can get the book returned to a long lost city in time the lost text will be restored.

Another thing that sets this delivery apart from the previous two is the inclusion of Suzy's parents. They're brought along in a fashion that brings to mind Dorothy's aunt and uncle in The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1910).

Chart showing the placement of the three novels as well as the two alternate placements for the third novel

The inclusion of Suzy's parents also gives this book two different possible road narrative spectrum placements. From Suzy's point of view the travelers are family (33); the destination is uhoria (CC) because the city was known in history but is now lost; the route is, of course, the railroad (00). All together her version of the journey is traveling with family to uhoria via the railroad (33CC00). From her parents' point of view the travelers are still a family (33); the destination is the city (00), which from later research ends up being in a known location; the route is still the railroad (00). Summed up, the parents' journey is of a family going to a city via the railroad (330000).

For language nerds the city's location is given in its name (which I'm not stating here to avoid spoilers). It's a fun detail that doesn't take away from the rest of the story. There's plenty of excitement of racing the clock, surviving natural and unnatural obstacles; political intrigue, including a leader who reminds me a bit of a Baumian take on my country's 45th president.

This book is the conclusion of the trilogy, but there's plenty more that could be done. If Bell ever decides to revisit Suzy's life as a postie I will happily read her further adventures.

Five stars

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