Down the Mysterly River
Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (illustrator)
Starscape (Tor). Sep 13 2011, $15.99
Boy Scout Max “the Wolf” excels at being prepared for anything. So he is confused with finding himself waking on a road in a forest when he cannot recall how he arrived at his present location or where the path leads to. His journey goes from odd to bizarre when he encounters Banderbrock the badger who can communicate with him and is as bewildered as Max is for the same reasons. They are joined by the equally perplexed McTavish the cat and Walden the bear.
As the foursome leisurely walk, talk, and argue the Blue Cutters stalk the quartet. These hunters change the essence of beings to make them conform to their notion of literally a narrow society. Only the wizard can keep them from being altered, but Max fears this mage who is the keeper of the sacred script in which he may swiftly delete the Boy Scout from solving mysteries.
Down the Mysterly River is an entertaining metafiction fantasy that targets middle school students, but adult fans of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday’s Next saga will enjoy it too. The illustrations by Mark Buckingham enhance the entertaining story line as Bill Willingham provides an engaging complex thriller.