Dani Pettrey

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The Seems: The Lost Train of Thought by John Hulme and Michael Wexler

Posted by Shaun Stevenson On March - 15 - 2010

Genre: Children’s, Young Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: September 2009

Reviewed by Shaun Stevenson

It’s always great to find a new book series that has it all: adventure, action, charm, humor. And when I first stumbled across The Seems by John Hulme and Michael Wexler, I knew that this was going to be something good. And it was. The first book, The Glitch in Sleep, was a good entry into the new world of the Seems – the world creating The World. While a bit cutesy at moments, it definitely was a fun fantasy/adventure title. And then book two, The Split Second, took everything that was great about the first book and made it even better. So nothing could have set my expectations higher than when I discovered the third volume, The Lost Train of Thought. And while it definitely promised a lot, it didn’t quite live up to it.

The plot starts straight out with Fixer Becker Drane’s court trial in the Seems. Becker has broken rules in the Seems, and now the Powers That Be have decided that he needs to be held accountable for his actions. But before the final verdict comes down, a Train of Thought bound for The World goes missing, as do four of the best Fixers known in all the Seems. Soon Becker finds himself on a mission to save The World once again, but this time, if he fails, the Seems may just come crumbling to its knees as well.

Hulme and Wexler include much of the same humor – striking puns of everyday phrases. They also have plenty of mystery going on: where is the lost train? Who is trying to overthrow the Seems? What really is The Most Amazing Thing of All? But where this book seemed to fail was the fact that it kept cutting away just as an action scene was about to begin. And instead of showing us, they just skipped ahead and explained in a paragraph or two what had happened. There was more than once I felt a little bit disappointed at not getting to see the epic battles play out between the heroes and villains.

The other thing that struck me was the tone shift in the book. The first fifty pages or so really started out in kind of a depressing spiral, but then the later two-thirds seemed just like previous books in the series: more light-hearted and fun and adventurous. But, the thing that really salvaged things for me was the ending. Hulme and Wexler leave off with a few startling revelations for the series that definitely promise to have a huge impact on the characters and The World itself.

The Lost Train of Thought ends up being a good entry in this fantasy adventure series, but misses the mark here and there, and definitely does not live up to its predecessor, The Split Second. Here’s hoping to a fourth book that gets things a bit more… on Track.