Escape from the Forbidden Planet When I first read the blurb about this book I thought elves, syrup, um… maybe too sickly for me.  But then I realised what a kick-ass (excuse me) heroine Caramel is!

The book starts with an accident – which introduces us to Caramel and her mum – a healer in the elf-emergency squad.  They heal by the power of the mind, and Caramel’s mum is an ace healer – but even so, Caramel is left with a dodgy leg and tends to limp a lot.  Fast forward a few years and Caramel is dashing about all over the place – linked in with technology to her friends in the forest canopy and the ones at the Pizza parlour. Caramel is just about to take her EATs (Elf Aptitude Tests) and although she wants to be a healer like her mum, on a short holiday in the canopy, picking cardomom pods, she discovers she can also talk to trees.

However, she is not the only one in the canopy; an alien race of Alexanders – whose aim is to dominate the world in communications devices – has a spy in their midst.  A spy who will stop at nothing to elevate his own status and who discovers that cardomom is the secret ingredient he has been looking for.

There are more twists in this tale than a curls round a candyfloss stick (cottoncandy) – and did I mention that it is full of food?  Do not read this if you are on a diet!  I have been generously supplied with the recipe for the sticky date and chocolate cake with cardomom caramel syrup, and I intend to use it at the next opportunity!  But that does not influence my impartial review – Escape is a rollicking story that people from about 8 upwards will enjoy to the full!

If you have any doubts about whether this is right for you (you shouldn’t) take a look at the sampler Love Middle Grade Actually – you can read some of it and decide for yourself.

Escape from the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso


Book Review: Escape from the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso
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