The Expatriates by Corinne O’Flynn
They told him his world was destroyed.
And they were the last to escape.
They thought he was safe.
They were wrong.
Seventeen-year-old Jim Wales can communicate with animals, but that’s not why he lives with a traveling carnival. Turns out his family’s been hiding him there since he was little, since someone started hunting all the scholars. Jim is a scholar–someone who can manipulate energy using magic–and he has no idea.
When a message arrives from Jim’s father–who supposedly died twelve years ago–Jim’s whereabouts are discovered, their carnival is attacked, and his mother is kidnapped. On the run with a strange glass map and a single coin, Jim finds himself racing to reclaim the father he thought he’d lost, plotting to save his mother, and discovering the truth about who he is.
But going home isn’t the same as being safe, and trust is everything.
This book was fun. It took me a while to get into it, especially after the scene at the carnival. I thought it was just going to be about a boy who spoke to animals and I thought “traveling circus and talking animals”? I’m here for that. So after THE SCENE I figured out it was a different book entirely. For fans of The Maze Runner and maybe Percy Jackson, who like boy adventures with reluctant heroes.
Did I mention talking animals? Yeah throw in a bit of Dr Doolittle. I need a talking tiger. “Jim ok?” “Bak hungry.”
There is language so if you’re concerned about that, I’d say ages 13/14+.