Ida and the Unfinished City

It has been over ten years since the first book in this series was released. THE LOST CHILDREN was about three kids who join together to take on a terrifying villain in another world known as Gulm.

Set four years later, this newest adventure rests on the shoulders of just one of the original children, the tough minded and endearing Ida.

Her shadow pictured on the front cover hints at her dilemma. She’s should be 16 but an evil curse has kept her at age 12. Ida journeys to the Unfinished City where a treatment can supposedly be found. If it works she will return to Gulm and free up the other children trapped in their youth.

Could you dive right in and read this second book before the first? Yes, although by the time you get to the epilogue the pull will be strong to return to where it all began.

Ida is hilariously deceitful. She’s a strong heroine you will cheer for throughout her adventure. In fact the book begins with her winning a card game in a tavern against a gruff looking group of men. The third person narration is crisp and fast-paced and you’ll be guessing as to which of the other characters truly want to help or harm Ida.

The Unfinished City is always rebuilding since it gets wiped out by a yearly flood. An unusual place for sure. Ida meets many new people of all ages and eventually must decide her own fate.

Ida and the Unfinished City is a bold, beautiful, and welcome story for our times.

THE OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: In this long-awaited sequel to “The Lost Children” (Simon & Schuster 2010), con-artist and tough-girl Ida journeys to the Unfinished City to find a cure for her inability to age. Stuck in the body of a twelve-year-old, Ida longs to look and feel her true age of sixteen. The Unfinished City is the weirdest place Ida has ever visited—on the same day, every year, a flood destroys the whole town, and odder still, the citizens look forward to it! To Ida’s dismay, no one in the Unfinished City wants to explain the mysterious Treatment that could be Ida’s remedy.
Ida begs, borrows, and steals to get what she wants. Will she be able to set her age right and return to her friends Fargus and Josephine before her scheming and lies catch up with her?

FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT IDA AND THE UNFINISHED CITY by Carolyn Cohagan

  1. Escapism at it’s finest, and time seemed to take a back seat to the world I was immersed in.
  2. Love the cover. Creative and beautiful.
  3. A serious book but one that made me laugh out loud many times at the character’s spoken lines.
  4. Ida’s feelings wrap themselves around you with understanding and compassion for her dilemma. Strong writing is the only way to pull this off.
  5. The cast of characters are memorable with each bringing their own personalities in their dealings with Ida. Likeable Dunkin was my favorite.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (From Carolyn’s web site)

Carolyn Cohagan

Carolyn Cohagan began her writing career as a stand-up comic, performing in comedy clubs all over the world, including New York, Chicago, London, and Amsterdam. After studying physical theater at the Ecole International de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, she began to write and perform one-woman shows, traveling to theater festivals from Edinburgh to Adelaide. In Los Angeles, Carolyn wrote and directed short films, worked for Slamdance and the LA Film Festival, and was a red carpet host for the Independent Spirit Awards.

    Carolyn’s first novel, The Lost Children, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010, became part of the Scholastic Book Club in 2011, and was nominated for a Massachusetts Children’s Book Award in 2014.

    Her young adult dystopian novel Time Zero (She Writes Press, 2016) won eight literary honors, including the 2017 Readers Favorite Award and the 2017 International Book Award. 

    The sequel, Time Next, was released in 2018 and the final book in the series, Time’s Up, is forthcoming in 2020.

    Carolyn has a BA in Art History from Barnard and an MA in Writing from USC. She is the founder of Girls With Pens, a creative writing organization in Austin for girls ages 8-14. While pop culture and peer pressure are telling tweens and teenagers to be like everyone else, Girls With Pens celebrates individual voices and offbeat imaginations.

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Comments are always welcome!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Ida and the Unfinished City

  1. This sounds like such an interesting fantasy story, and Ida sounds like a wonderful character. I could use a book that makes me laugh. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Don’t remember your review of the first book, but I do like escape into a really good story! Sounds like it’s best to start with the first book. I like that there is some humor to lighten the some of the darkness and tension of a powerful villain! Thanks for sharing today!

  3. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    What a long wait between books! The premise of this sequel sounds quite intriguing, between the not-aging and the Unfinished City! It’s always nice to read an escapist book and stop worrying about the real world. Thanks for the great review!

  4. Jenni says:

    I’m totally intrigued by this city that gets wiped away each day by a flood. I’ve got to find out the reason for that. And Ida sounds like a very tough and engaging character! This sounds wonderful!

  5. I don’t read a lot of fantasy, but The Lost Children and Ida and the Unfinished City just might make it onto my TBR pile. They sound like a lot of fun. And since I don’t have much patience in waiting for sequels, it’s nice that they are both out. Thanks for the post.

  6. Glad I read your review. I have this book to review too. I haven’t read the first one and was trying to decide if I needed to read it first. I will definitely read it first now! Sounds like I am in for a treat. 🙂

  7. Susan Uhlig Ford says:

    Wow, what a long time between publication!

  8. That cover is pretty mesmerizing!

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