The Memory of Babel

Europa. (Mirror Visitor Quartet: Bk. 3). Sept. 2020. 508p. Tr $20.00. ISBN 9781609456139.
Gr 9 Up–This third book in the “Mirror Visitor Quartet” finds Ophelia back on Anima for two years and seven months, in a deep depression, wondering if she will ever see her husband Thorn again. After a series of surprising events, she discovers herself, now known as Eulalia, on the Ark of Babel. Guided by a postcard that her great-uncle had given her and her new friend Ambrose, she finds the statue at the Memorial of Babel, a giant library. Ophelia/Eulalia decides that the best way to find the information she needs about God and the Other, and perhaps a way to locate Thorn, is to apply to be a student, a Forerunner, so that she can get access to the secret documents in the Memorial. In doing so, she puts herself in danger as there are others who resent her competition and who do not want her to have the dangerous knowledge she seeks. With surprising twists and turns, she finds herself understanding more about God than is safe, but is now closer to discovering the Other. As with the other books in the series, this is rich in detail, plot, and characterizations. The complexity of Dabos’s world-building once again immerses readers in a new world. The God that Ophelia finds is a dark deity, similar to the deities in Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass. While this can be read as a stand-alone, much of the richness is lost without the knowledge of the previous volumes. Race isn’t explicitly stated.
VERDICT The third book of the quartet has exceptionally strong writing and development but needs to be read in conjunction with the rest of the series.

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