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Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell

The stunning new novel from Katherine Rundell is brilliant, emotional and magical all at once. It follows an extraordinary duo immersed in the depths of a mythical adventure, brought together between two very different worlds.

Christopher is an ordinary boy from our world. Whilst visiting his grandfather, he discovers a magical and mystical realm he could never have imagined. The Archipelago is full of magical islands, where mythical creatures live in a parallel world to humans. The protection they have lived under for thousands of years has worn thin, and the creatures are breaking through.

Then Christopher meets Mal. She is a girl from the Archipelago - with a flying coat and a griffin - and she is being pursued by a killer. Together, Christopher and Mal embark on an incredible adventure to save both of their worlds. They are faced with danger, secrets and sacrifice. They confront the power of knowledge, and decide whether or not to embrace it. The two friends discover the extent - and perhaps limitlessness - of understanding, and they question how much love demands of us.

“It is so difficult, to be alive. It is so difficult, and it is so beautiful.”

Katherine Rundell is one of the most inspiring and talented writers of our age. In Impossible Creatures, she invents fantastical creatures, remarkable characters, and builds landscapes beyond our wildest imaginations. She writes in such a way that every detail is vivid, and you feel every fear, loss or excitement in the story. Rundell’s lyrical writing is expansive and compelling: she inhabits two worlds so convincingly and creates characters you so easily fall in love with. You feel sympathy and pride and emotion for these two young characters who endure so much.

While this really is the children’s book of the year, it should be read by teenagers and adults too. It is bursting with imagination and creativity, and Rundell sheds so much light onto living and dying, that there’s nothing quite like Impossible Creatures. It’s a story about everything - everything there is in this world, and beyond.

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