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(The Unmapped Chronicles #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  726 ratings  ·  151 reviews
'Adventures are unpredictable and often terribly badly behaved – a bit like pickled onions if you’ve ever tried to fork one on a plate – but they have a way of unlocking people and turning them upside down so that all the astonishing things fizzing around inside them start to tumble out…’
Eleven-year-old Casper Tock hates risks, is allergic to adventures and shudders at
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published May 30th 2019 by Simon & Schuster Children's UK
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  726 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This surpasses Roald Dahl-esque imagination in every way!

Rumblestar is the first book in the Unmapped Chronicles, essentially about a young boy called Casper Tock who stumbles into the sky kingdom of Rumblestar. From then, we follow his adventure as he meets a girl called Utterly Thankless, who is utterly brilliant to be honest - I love her fire and the way she becomes friends with Casper. And Casper himself, oh, what a cinnamon roll! I was rooting for him from the very first page and you will
"And as both Utterly and Casper's whispers tiptoed out into the night and were lost in the trails of stardust, Utterly turned to Casper."
- Chapter 22, Rumblestar


Fantasy is my favorite genre. And when I read a favorite genre, the book usually makes it to my favorite shelf. This one was no exception. I loved it but like any literary piece, it had a few flaws.

Casper Tock is a normal boy who lives in a small, cozy turret at Little Wallops boarding school. His life is filled with To-Do l
This was smashing fun and great to see Abi just let all her imaginings pour out onto the page. Don't let this make you think the book is unwieldly under the pressure of too much fantasy - it really isn't. Elphinstone knows exactly what she is doing here and children are going to love the sheer magnitude of the world that she has created here. ...more
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 4.5/5 stars.

Casper Tock's world is defined by timetables and to do lists. Class bullies feature into these and he has devised a series of careful strategies for avoiding them. One day, these strategies fail him and, with no other place left to hide, he finds himself inside an ancient grandfather clock whilst looking for escape. He believes those he fears remain outside but quickly finds out that a new world has been opened, with much inside it to fear, as well.

Utterly Thankless bel
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply breathtakingly delightful! There is nothing better than a new book from Abi Elphinstone but there is extra reason to celebrate when you know it's the beginning of a magical new series, and it didn't disappoint. Casper, friend Utterly Thankless and dragon Arlo team up on an enchanting adventure full of mayhem with a positive message about stepping outside your comfort zone, the power of friendship and how the good must fight against evildoers for the sake of humanity. Elphinstone is undoub ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My son and I very much enjoyed the premise of this book. It was a wonderful surprise to read about the unique system of magic right from the start. Even the middle continued to keep us engaged. But towards the end, the pace started to lag and we struggled to get through. The final pages brought the the spark back and we hope to see more of them in books to come.
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"People rarely snap and scowl because of others but rather because there is a storm raging inside them. [...] and though it's hard to be friends with stormgulpers, they're the ones who need friends most."

This book is a beautiful, sweet journey about friendship, fears, inner strength and what it really means to be brave.

The magic in this is utterly adorable. My favorite must have been the "just-in-case", which is a suitcase fro adventurous situations with special abilities. The little gimmick
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this more than 5 stars, I absolutely would! This is just incredible. There are some roaring adventures, friendships and magic in here. Reading this book brought me such joy. Some incredibly powerful messages about friendship and sadness in here. Loved the links to Everdark too! I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
Thank you to for my free review copy of this book! All opinions are my own.

I ADORED this first book in a new MG fantasy series. I'd highly recommend the audiobook version, the narration was extremely well done. I'd recommend this for MG readers of all ages, and especially those who like quirky characters, lots of world-building, and big themes on friendship.

Belles Middle Grade Library
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My 1st book for The Touch of Whimsy readathon-prompt to read a book set in another world. I finished this last night, & I LOVED this book so much. I have a few books by this author, & I want to now devour them all! This world was AMAZING! These characters were AMAZING! The names of people, places, & things was AMAZING! Casper, Utterly, & Arlo all have my entire heart & soul. I loved each of them. I felt so bad for Casper in the start of the book. Having to live in fear from bullies who thought m ...more
Good-book-goosebumps for Rumblestar!

Whenever I'm looking for a truly exciting and fun adventure story, I will always turn to childhood favourites or the newer selection of middle-grade books released in the last 5 years or so because the level of talent amongst the authors writing for this demographic is mind-boggling! This is my first Abi Elphinstone book and it did not disappoint, in fact I think it sky-soared (wink-wink) itself into being one of my favourite reads of the year so far. The vas
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
a very cute story of what happen when you force a "rules are to be followed like a straight line" guy with a "you only live once" girl to go on an adventure to save the world.
friendships are made, lots of crazy ups and down and of course the sweet "good always wins in the end"
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was brilliant. Abi Elphinstone has done it again and created amazing characters, an incredibly detailed world and a wonderful story about finding your courage and opening your heart to others. Simply wonderful.
Michelle Kenneth -
[Thank you to Simon Kids for the gifted copy.]

I absolutely loved this story. It was a nice getaway from reality. With all of these storms that we know as climate change, imagine if they were actually caused by something much more sinister and magical.

Imagine a world up in the sky, unseen by our own eyes. In a place called the Unmapped Kingdom, there's a whole magical world responsible for our weather.

I am not going to rehash the synopsis. I am only going to say that I am a new fan of this seri
A novella prequel, Everdark, was written for World Book Day, and perhaps I’d have gotten on a bit better with Rumblestar if I’d read that first. My problems, though, weren’t with confusing plot or unfamiliar characters. Rather the opposite: it sort of felt as though I’d read this story before. Or parts of it in different places. There’s a weedy, wimpy boy; a tough, wisecracking girl; a magical kingdom; an untrustworthy authority figure; an adventure through the very conveniently discrete segment ...more
Michelle Harrison
'I . . . I'm not ready for an adventure,' Casper replied. 'I'm not even wearing shoes!'

Chaos and courage collide in this rich and vividly drawn world. Packed with humour and friendship, sprinkled with whimsy and fairy tale, and the most adorable miniature tail-chasing dragon. Abi Elphinstone's imagination is pure sorcery. With a particular liking and flair for magical objects and fantastical names (such as Whoopsy Ditherlot), no one conjures breath-taking adventure quite like this author.
Robin Stevens
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fabulous, big-hearted adventure that introduces readers to the magical world of Rumblestar. Casper is a wonderfully uncertain hero, and I didn't want this story to end. Perfect for reading out loud! (8+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rumblestar is a fun magical middle grade adventure with fantastical creatures, a daring quest and brave young heroes. It’s also the first in the Unmapped Kingdoms series by Abi Elphinstone. I loved this book and it was also my first Abi Elphinstone. I can say that I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The world was very imaginative and I liked learning about Rumblestar and the Unmapped Kingdoms.

I liked Casper Tock, a 11-year-old boy who finds himself in Rumblestar after hiding in a grandfather cloc
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tobias-2020, claire
There are these particular books that give you this high. That special feeling like something is falling into place, clicking. It glues you to the page, makes you reckless in wanting to finish it. You know you should write that report, that essay, finish that task and your supervisor/teacher/boss is looming just over there but you would still sneek a peak, no matter the tongue lashing you would get if discovered. It’s a high that I – all of us probably – constantly chase. “Rumblestar” was such a ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review can also be found at Snow White Hates Apples.

Actual rating: 3.5 Stars

Thank you so much Pansing for sending me the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! Abi Elphinstone’s Rumblestar will be available at all good bookstores.

It seems as if I'm in the midst of creating a pattern for myself (once is chance, twice is coincidence and all that) because although I don't dislike Middle Grade fiction, I don't actively seek books of that genre to read yet I somehow still pick them up
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rumblestar is a clever, funny, adventurous, story brimming with imagination. Throughout the story Abi wowed me with her creations, from her characters to her amazing world-building. Her storytelling completely captures you and transports you to Rumblestar and the Unmapped Kingdom. There were so many parts that made me laugh, marvel at a creation (like the just-in-case), or just soak up Abi's words. Rumblestar would make a great read aloud for ages 9+ as I can just imagine kids getting completely ...more
Karen Barber
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, audiobook
The time it took me to listen to this on audio is, in no way, a sign of my feelings about the book. I am pretty new to using audiobooks and find certain conditions/settings make it easier for me to follow the story when I don’t have the physical text in front of me.
This is a great adventure, with characters that you can’t help but admire, want to succeed and which made me feel a lot braver just reading about them. Eleven year old Casper likes routine and his life is led by his timetables. Unfort
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I cannot express how breathtaking Abi Elphinstone's writing is. Her stories have so much heart and such powerful messages in them and have always made me cry. I say always, i've only read two but I am absolutely hooked.

I listened to the audiobook of Rumblestar and the narrator is so perfect and effortlessly brings the stories and the characters to life. I simply adore this book. It has such a powerful message about friendship and finding courage and bravery in the face of hardship. Abi's charact
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caspar never does anything unless its on his To Do list. There's no way he could ever be prepared for ending up in the magical kingdom of Rumblestar, but that's exactly what happens when he escapes from a bully by hiding in a grandfather clock. Another thing he doesn't do is have friends, which is absolutely fine by Utterley Thankless, the strange girl he meets, as she doesn't either. However, the evil Harpy Morg is hell-bent on destroying both their worlds and the two find themselves working to ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

An utterly spellbinding read, I honestly struggled to put it down because I wanted to spend as much time as I could in the Unmapped Lands. Not only are the worlds enchanting but the main characters Casper, Utterly and Arlo are complex and charming.

The story opens with both Casper and Utterly frightened, friendless and closed off by hurtful experiences in their pasts. Catastrophic weather and sudden magical intervention propels them on an adventure together, accompanied by Utterly’s comp
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is so imaginative!!

I have loved this author's other books, and with the second book in the series coming out this month I figured it was time to start the Unmapped Chronicles. Why did I not do so sooner? I had a great time with it.

We follow Casper, a young, mixed-race boy who gets bullied for not coming from a rich family. He doesn't do anything without making a to-do list and he has a tight schedule. He doesn't bother with friends, people are way too unpredictable... you can imagine h
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read and loved Sky Song, The Dream Snatcher and Ever Dark so I had high hopes for this book, and boy did Abi Elphinstone deliver!
This story is a magical adventure that is full of friendship and fun, and so well written that parents and children alike will get swept away by the story.
A must read for fans of Maz Evans, Eoin Colfer and Derek Landy.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this!
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
✨I can’t wait to read on with the series and Abi’s work. It also got 4.5 stars instead of 4. Arlington is the cutest thing ever.✨
Steff Fox
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middlegrade
Casper Tock and the Everdark Wings by Abi Elphinstone of The Unmapped Chronicles is the fantasy I wish I'd had when I was a child. Known as Rumblestar in the United Kingdom, Elphinstone's brilliantly woven tale about a shy young boy hiding from bullies who hides in a clock that whisks him away to another world where he must embark on a daring adventure to save not only this new place of questionable safety, but also his own world whose future is unalteringly tied to the well-being of the Unmappe ...more
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, bullying
This is a solid series opener for middle grade fantasy readers.

Read more at Bookish Adventures.
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Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher.

THE DREAMSNATCHER is her debut novel for 8-12 years (published by Simon & Schuster in 2015). THE SHADOW KEEPER is her second children's

Other books in the series

The Unmapped Chronicles (3 books)
  • Jungledrop (The Unmapped Chronicles, #2)
  • The Crackle Dawn Dragon (The Unmapped Chronicles, #3)

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