Return to Mt. Snagra (A Mattie & Pete Adventure) (Volume 1) by Tyan Wyssi
A YA Fantasy Novel published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (08/18/2013)
Mattie and Pete, two imaginative children living in Southern California, hold the key to this fantasy. Literally: they have keys. And a very important book. They are swept into an adventure where they must use their wits, creativity, and strength to save the fantastical land of Gisper from the evil Vulture King. Along the way they become friends with an impatient and rude princess, a half-human half-creature of the land, and the mysterious man in the orange grove next door. Who wrote the book and why Mattie and Pete are sucked into its outlandish adventure will only be revealed if they can save the day.
“The soothsayer predicted a young girl with a powerful book would come to rescue the twin Gisperians when the moon was half-waned. Her hair would have many tiny braids, and her feet would be enclosed in boots with dancing spurs. She was to be accompanied by a powerful, one-handed boy with a golden voice and quick mind who negotiates first instead of grabbing his sword.” (Page 146-147).
Fantasy, Adventure, Books, Heros and Heroines, Underdogs, Save the Kingdom
This is exactly the type of novel I would have read in my voracious reading days in late elementary through the beginning of high school. It is a sophisticated read for any maturing teen who wants a little adventure, a little romance, and a little creativity. The plot becomes more and more complex as the book progresses, with the perfect touch of character development and self-discovery for the main character. This is a well-balanced fantasy where the world-building makes sense and all the elements are there for the reading.
Mattie and Pete are the main characters, but the story is mainly told from mattie’s perspective. Mattie is a likeable character. She is given the underdog story and readers will root for her, because she is a bit of all of us. At times she is plain, clumsy, impatient, belittled, bullied, and she can’t make up her mind what she wants to be. Then she falls into this magical story where she blossoms and grows. Again literally. She goes from an 11-year old girl to a robust teenager. She needed to know what the future held for her and if it would work out alright. Like “13 Going on 30” she is sixteen, flirty, and thriving. Mattie finds her self-purpose in helping the Gispers win their kingdom back and her conviction is solid. She becomes wise and verbose, giving the reader a taste of maturity and intelligence.
The author layers her plot and her motives like an expert, giving the book a higher degree of elegance than most that follow a more linear plotline. Wyss plays with the “Return to Mt. Snagra” novel, revealing the future so that the children have guidance during their quest while at times the pages are blank, waiting for their decisions and actions to fill in the words. The author has integrated the past and the future into this book that the children carry with them at all times.
The author also plays with time and space with more than just the way the words are revealed on the pages of the book within the book “Return to Mt. Snagra.” There is an element of time travel hidden within the layers of the novel. This gives the reader something to ponder over after finishing the book. There are quite a few ‘somethings’ that the reader puts together by the end of the book that are simply too cool.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoyed the Neverending Story by Michael Ende or the smooth and charming personable style of Roald Dahl
This novel was published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 08/18/2013 and is available on Amazon here.
TLDR Star Rating: 4.75
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