The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse

Featured
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
1605 0
The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
November 07, 2017
ISBN
978-0062320971
Buy This Book
      

The stand-alone sequel to The Doldrums, which the New York Times called “a dreamy charmer of a book,” is a second tour-de-force by author-illustrator Nicholas Gannon. It brims with the spirit of exploration and celebrates the bond of friendship. The exquisite package features Gannon’s distinctive full-color art throughout, as well as black-and-white spot illustrations. The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse is a timeless tale and a beautiful gift for a young reader. Archer Helmsley’s grandparents—famous explorers who went missing on an iceberg two years ago—are finally coming home. Archer is overjoyed, but he may be the only one. Rumors are flying that Archer’s grandparents were never really abandoned on the iceberg; that they’re making it all up. Archer knows that the rumors are false. With his best friends, Oliver and Adélaïde, and their new neighbor, Kana, Archer sets out during a snowstorm to rescue his grandparents’ reputation. In the tradition of Roald Dahl, Lemony Snicket, and Brian Selznick, Nicholas Gannon’s wildly imaginative world of The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse is packed with sly humor, an undeniably charming cast of characters, and the thrill of discovering secrets and adventures right in your own backyard. With approximately twenty pieces of full-color artwork, as well as black-and-white spot illustrations, and deft, literary writing, Nicholas Gannon once again creates a fully realized world and a story to sink into and explore.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

The Adventure Continues
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Doldrums are back in this mystery and intrigue-laden Middle Grade continuation. Though it’s definitely a sequel, the story has been crafted in such a way that readers needn’t have discovered book #1 to enjoy and fully comprehend The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse. Here, Archer (and readers by extension) finally meet Archer’s famous/infamous grandparents, and are given their first look into the inners workings of the exploration society they belong to. But as it turns out, the society has some shady dealings afoot. And the disappearance of Ralph and Rachel Helmsley may not have been an accident at all.

While there are consistent themes of friendship across both books, this one branches out in several varied respects. First, there’s Archer’s chance at a relationship with the grandparents his mother has kept him away from since he was a baby. Will they be everything he’s hoped and longed for, or is there something to the rumors swirling about them? There is the mid-book addition of a possible new female member to Archer’s trio of friends. And then there’s the difficult matter of Archer’s boarding school friend and roommate—who happens to be the son of the man the Helmsley’s suspect of arranging the iceberg incident. It’s this last point where Archer is faced with the difficult task of empathizing with someone he cares for, but believes is being misled. It also presents him with an opportunity to NOT judge someone by their family ties—which is a grace he’s not being afforded by most of his own city.

On that last note, it’s worth mentioning that there is an added conflict thread involving a popular local paper that’s willing to leap to accusatory conclusions about the long-lost Helmsleys. The readiness with which most of the city’s population believe this tabloid-worthy gossip is both timely and sadly believable. It also carries alienating consequences for Archer and his friends.

As it was with the first book, Gannon’s illustrations are a tremendously artful source of charm and vintage ambiance. Whether it’s the full page or small portrait segments, black-and-white or richly colored, the detailing is distinct and affecting.

Archer’s mother is still a controlling, wretched, and borderline emotionally abusive source of side antagonism on the outskirts of the main plot. And unfortunately, we aren’t privileged with much by way of character growth in her, or the reasoning behind why she’s so uncaring toward her own parents. But at the same time, she is perhaps a broad-stroke example to young readers of an irrational and callous misuse of parental authority.

Ultimately this seems a more complex story, but one that’s been executed with the same deft quality as the first book in the series.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...
Ashes (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #3)
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
"The truth was, I wasn’t on anyone’s side except Claire’s....
Fire (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #2)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After being killed by demons, former angel Adam wakes up...
Spark (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #1)
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
"It came out of nowhere. A sweep of emotions. Love,...
The Twin
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
After their parents divorced, 10-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain sight...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo, a...
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Mr. Penguin―Adventurer (And Penguin!) When Mr. Penguin...
Famous by Default
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jax Buried, By my family's fame. Dying to escape...
Sword and Pen (Great Library Book, #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With the future of the Great Library in doubt,...
Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and...
Jonny Lambert's Construction Site
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A beautifully illustrated book for babies featuring lots of noisy...

Latest Member Reviews

Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
"MOST LIKELY is a fantastic YA contemporary about friendship. The book starts with a woman becoming president and reflecting back..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"After our mindbending landing on the moon back in 1969, we’ve faltered in our quest to explore space. Mars seems..."
The Twin
 
3.7
"Ivy and her twin sister Iris parents divorced when they were ten. Ivy got to live with their father and..."
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
"Sarah Goldstein, alias Ursulla Haller, is living right under Nazi rule in 1940 Germany. She's the Shirley Temple of the..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"Naomi can't help but wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind the decision to kick Leo out of the..."
The Stars We Steal
 
3.7
"Jane Austen in space….yes please! The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne is a futuristic retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion...."
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
" The story: After living in foster care since the death of her mother, Edie finally..."
Seven Deadly Shadows
 
4.0
"Sixteen-year-old Kira Fujikawa loves helping at her family shrine. She also has a paranormal ability. She sees the not only..."
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
"THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US is the highly devourable YA fantasy I have been searching for! This is an enthralling story..."
 
3.3
"The Betrothed is a brand new YA-novel set in the 15th century by Kiera Cass, whom we all know from..."
Remember Me
 
4.0
"‘First rule of storytelling,’ he says, a glint in his eyes.’ Everything is possible.’ Nell is..."
Lobizona
 
5.0
"Sixteen-year-old Manuela, 'Manu' is in hiding from her father's Argentinian crime family. She also runs the risk of being deported..."
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
 
4.7
"Reviewed for YA Books Central A book that should be on every teen's shelf. ..."
Serious Moonlight
 
5.0
"Birdie and Daniel has the most awkward first encounter. So when Birdie started her job in a historic hotel, she..."
Long Way Down
 
5.0
"I feel like I've been asleep for the last 31 years and I just woke up. I am woke. ..."
The Opposite of Always
 
5.0
"Opposite of Always is a heartfelt and stunning debut; that is worthy of all praise. I am in love..."
Tyler Johnson Was Here
 
5.0
"Tyler Johnson Was Here--did not come to be politically correct, or racially ambiguous. Tyler Johnson came to tell an ugly..."
We Are Not Free
 
5.0
"Fourteen friends who grew up together in Japantown, San Francisco find themselves and their families sent off to incarceration camps..."
The Way You Make Me Feel
 
3.7
"Clara Shin is the class clown and definitely qualifies as a troll too. (Big difference between the two, I'm not..."
Pet
Pet
 
4.7
"Recently recognized as a National Book Award finalist and a Stonewall Honor book, Pet is also Akwaeke Emezi’s YA debut..."