The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier

70%

27 Critic Reviews

The author delineates complex characters, geographies and societies alike with a dab hand, deftly weaves them all [...] into a suspenseful plot.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

When Trei loses his family in a tragic disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has ever seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings.

Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself.  The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin.  Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own . . . a dream a girl cannot attain.

Trei and Araene quickly become conspirators as they pursue their individual paths.  But neither suspects that their lives will be deeply entwined, and that the fate of the Floating Islands will lie in their hands. . . .

Filled with rich language, and told in alternating voices, The Floating Islands is an all-encompassing young adult fantasy read.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Rachel Neumeier

See more books from this Author
Rachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student and needed a hobby unrelated to her research. Prior to selling her first fantasy novel, she had published only a few articles in venues such as The American Journal of Botany. However, finding that her interests did not lie in research, Rachel left academia and began to let her hobbies take over her life instead. She now raises and shows dogs, gardens, cooks, and occasionally finds time to read. She works part time for a tutoring program, though she tutors far more students in Math and Chemistry than in English Composition.
 
Published February 8, 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 401 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Floating Islands
All: 27 | Positive: 21 | Negative: 6

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Dec 15 2010

The author delineates complex characters, geographies and societies alike with a dab hand, deftly weaves them all [...] into a suspenseful plot.

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Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Trisha Murakami on May 16 2011

The world Neumeier creates—the sense of culture and history she evokes—and her elegantly luminous prose combine to form a quietly wonderful book.

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Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

Excellent
Reviewed by Kristine Wildner on Feb 01 2011

A brilliantly descriptive narrative, The Floating Islands is a fantasy set in a world where islands float in the sky.

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Grand Prairie Public Library

Excellent
Reviewed by hdolman on Aug 12 2011

The dragons, magic, customs, and imaginative floating cities make for a fascinating world, which is both a central part of the story and a big part of the main characters’ identities.

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The Book Smugglers

Good
Reviewed by Thea on Feb 17 2011

The Floating Islands is Rachel Neumeier’s second novel for young adults, and in this humble reviewer’s opinion, a completely winsome, traditional fantasy novel, with adventure and intrigue in spades.

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Guys Lit Wire

Good
Reviewed by Kip on Mar 21 2011

Neumeier creates a vivid and unique world, which I would put on a level of some of my favorites like Sharon Shinn, Kristin Cashore and Shannon Hale.

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Kiss the Book

Good
Reviewed by Stephanie on May 19 2011

This was a great page turner! I loved the dual perspective of cousins, a teen boy and girl, each with their own thoughts and adventures.

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Book Yurt

Good
Reviewed by Byrt on Jan 27 2011

With an encompassing world, a tangible sense of magic and culture, and two likable leads, The Floating Islands is a light, fresh and engrossing YA fantasy novel.

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Charlotte's Library

Good
Reviewed by Charlotte on Apr 14 2011

I recommend this one specifically to those who enjoy books with strange and magical schools where young teenagers find their place in the world.

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Dog Ear

Good
Reviewed by Nicole Politi on Aug 09 2011

The story changed shape as I read and took me along unexpected paths, not all of which needed explanation. Very enjoyable.

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Whatchamacallit Reviews

Good
Reviewed by booklover31 on Jan 16 2011

Neumeier does a fantastic job creating a vivid and unique setting that really stands out in the book.

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Steph Su Reads

Good
Reviewed by Steph Su on May 01 2011

It’s no secret how much I love a good well-written high fantasy, one replete with intricate societal customs, political upheavel, and, of course, magic.

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Tempting Persephone

Good
Reviewed by Tempting Persephone on Mar 30 2011

Should you read The Floating Islands and, further, Rachel Neumeier’s other novels? Yes. Wholeheartedly, yes.

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The Daily Monocle

Below average
Reviewed by JP Wickwire on Dec 23 2011

I read 100 pages of this book, and nothing had really happened. The slow pace, combined with the aim at a younger audience, really just seemed to weigh the story down.

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MO High Library

Good
Reviewed by MO High on Sep 02 2011

This is a good fantasy, with many original elements, like the flying kajuraihi and Araene’s ability to sense magic as flavors.

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Deranged Book Lovers

Good
Reviewed by Lynossa on Aug 25 2011

I would recommend it for fantasy and middle-grade lovers.

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Paisley and Pretties

Good
Reviewed by Fentons Lee on Aug 02 2011

Familiar but resonant themes coupled with a detailed and fantastic world filled with magery, adventure, war, and characters who are, at their core, all too human, make for an enjoyable read.

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Skipping Along

Good
Reviewed by Kathryn on Jul 13 2011

I would definitely recommend this new book to any and all fantasy lovers.

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ZenArt Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Arty Zen on Feb 18 2011

I think I may have enjoyed it more had I been younger, but all the plot holes and the hurry just completely ruined it for me. For a while it was mediocre, albeit enjoyable, but near the end it flopped completely.

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Lost in a Good Book

Below average
Reviewed by Emily on Jun 06 2012

It kept feeling like the author was doling out only as much detail as she needed to and not a drop more. By the end of the book, this was aggravating; the story ended up being simultaneously complex and simplistic.

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YHS Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by MWrubel on Apr 19 2012

All in all, this was a great book, it was a little hard to get into but once you got to the main story it was hard to put down

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Invincible's 2012 Reading Challenge

Good
Reviewed by Invincible on Jan 03 2012

I'll always love fantasy books that I can explore strange new places along with the characters and the Islands, suspended in the air above the sea by dragon's magic

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Starlight Book Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Terri on Dec 12 2011

Fine; not spectacular, but also not bland. If anything, the writing style was forgettable while the story itself was not.

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SBY Teens

Good
Reviewed by sbyteens on Mar 27 2011

One of the most well-constructed fantasy novels I have read in sometime, The Floating Islands is a must read.

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Fiction Enthusiast

Good
Reviewed by Fiction Enthusiast on Jan 25 2011

I was thoroughly impressed with the author’s vivid writing style.

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A Reader's Ramblings

Below average
Reviewed by Eliza on Jan 19 2011

The plot didn't seem entirely new. There were elements from other stories melded with the new imaginings of the author.

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Reads for Keeps

Below average
Reviewed by Lisa Song on Jan 01 2011

It’s fascinating, though there are times when the descriptions go so deep they became confusing.

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Reader Rating for The Floating Islands
77%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 29 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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