Library Journal Review
Gr 4-8-In a third visit to the lands of Solace, Johnson introduces Stella Glass, a brave young alchemist who stows away on the exploration airship Iron Glory on its mission to the Uncharted Lands, accompanying her unwitting scientist parents, who have been drafted on this dangerous voyage by their king. Once on board, Stella is startled by the presence of another stowaway, Cyrus, a magical boy who has the power to harness light and heat with his hands to affect repair of the physical. He turns out to be an alien-a visitor from the Uncharted Lands who came on a secret mission to Solace long ago and is desperate to return home. The protagonist ultimately joins forces with Cyrus, and with the help of his invisibility suit, the pair must defeat a faceless saboteur who is determined to abort the mission and destroy the ship and its crew. The author's endearing, STEAM-loving heroine and magical hero hit all the right buttons for middle grade readers. Stella is resourceful and clever yet kind and caring. Her bravery and ingenuity rescue Cyrus and her parents from the faceless man. The tender romance that unfolds with Cyrus is funny and heartbreaking as Cyrus does everything he can to save the expedition, the ship, and Stella, only to become deathly ill as a result. VERDICT A must-have choice for all middle grade shelves where the previous two volumes are popular.-Jane Barrer, United Nations International School, New York © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Johnson takes readers on a final trip to the land of Solace in this conclusion to her trilogy. This series, which began with The Mark of the Dragonfly (2014), sets stand-alone novels in a common world, and in this volume, readers meet Stella Glass, a dabbler in alchemy. Worried that her parents might not return from a daring expedition to the Uncharted Lands, Stella stows away in their airship's cargo bay. Despite careful planning, one thing Stella doesn't anticipate is having to share her hiding spot with Cyrus, another illegal passenger. Among his many surprises are Cyrus' unusual abilities and his insistence that he's from the Uncharted Lands, a seemingly impossible claim. What begins as a reluctant partnership turns to true friendship as Stella and Cyrus team up to save the airship from a saboteur. This book feels younger than its predecessors, but that won't get in the way of readers' enjoyment. Johnson wraps interesting ideas relating to humanity and cultural differences in this adventure-laden page-turner, and her young protagonists mature in satisfying ways.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2017 Booklist