My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh, oh, oh, my love for Eva Ibbotson utterly continues.
The Secret of Platform 13 is furiously magical and madly inventive. It’s the story of a hidden island, wrapped away from the ‘everyday’ by magic and mists (mists made, fyi, by the *most* amazing creations ever – mistmakers, seal-like creatures who produce mist every time they hear beautiful music). The island is accessible through a secret door on Platform 13, Kings Cross which opens briefly every nine years.
The island is desperately missing their Prince, kidnapped when the island last opened, and now they’re going to get him back. It’s a rescue mission, haphazard and chaotic and dizzily funny, and it doesn’t run smoothly!
Ibbotson’s beautiful skills with magical and mysterious creatures remain ineffable. She writes with a loving, brilliantly inventive touch and isn’t afraid to inject darker overtones (the Harpies, for example, are amazingly unnerving).
I love Ibbotson, and if you’ve not discovered her before, this is an excellent starting point. The parallels between The Secret of Platform 13 and Harry Potter are inescapable (Platform 13 was printed first, fyi) and I’d reccommend The Secret of Platform 13 for readers who are searching to discover the ‘new’ Harry Potter series. There’s a lot of life in the old dog yet.