Explorers on Black Ice Bridge

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels here:

The Polar Bear Explorers Club | Explorers on Witch Mountain

Explorers on Black Ice Bridge was written by Alex Bell and first published in 2019. It follows the continuing adventures of Stella Starflake Pearl as she heads to one of the most dangerous places on the planet in search of a cure for her ailing friend. The novel forms the third part of The Polar Bear Explorers Club series, following on directly from where The Polar Bear Explorers Club (2017) and Explorers on Witch Mountain (2018 – published as The Forbidden Expedition in the US). Due to this, I would strongly recommend reading them in sequence if you want to fully appreciate them.

Things do not look good for Stella and her friends. Following their adventure on Witch Mountain, Felix has been stripped of his title and banished from the club. To make matters worse, Gideon has falsely accused Stella of using her magic against him, so there is also now a warrant for her arrest. This could not have come at a worse time, as Shay and Koa are growing sicker by the day. The only possible cure for them lies on the other side of the Black Ice Bridge, in the pages of Stella’s long-lost Book of Frost.

Naturally, friendship comes before everything else and Stella is quick to use her magic to escape. Yet, due to the fact that they no longer have any connections to the club, they are less prepared than ever before. No explorer has ever returned from the Black Ice Bridge, not even Beanie’s father in his ill-fated expedition eight years previously. The Explorers do not know what they will find, especially as rumours state that the bridge may lead to the very edge of the world.

Soon, Stella, Shay, Ethan and Beanie find themselves separated from the adults once again. They now can only use their wits, magic and meagre supplies to survive on the deadly bridge. But can they reach the other side in time when who knows what dangers lie in their way?

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Explorers on Witch Mountain

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club. You can read my review of this [here].

Explorers on Witch Mountain was written by Alex Bell and first published in 2018. It is the second book in The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club series and tells the continuing story of Stella Starflake Pearl, the first female explorer. The novel follows on directly where The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club (2017) left off, so I would definitely recommend reading them in sequence to ensure that you have a firm grasp of what is going on.

Stella is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that she is an ice princess. While having the power to control snow seems fun, she can’t help but remember the way that it felt when her heart started to freeze over. To make matters worse, people that she has never met seem to have decided that she’s a monster, and have taken to writing to both Felix and the Polar Bear Explorers’ Club to make their feelings known.

This is one of the reasons that Stella has not left her home since their adventure to the frozen north. The other reason is the giant vulture that seems to be stalking her. She knows that it was sent by Jezzybella – the witch who murdered her biological parents – and so whatever it wants can’t be good. When the creature finally manages to break into their home, Felix wastes no time in seizing control of it. He orders it to take him to Witch Mountain so that he can face Jezzybella, and orders Stella to stay home where it is safe.

Yet Stella knows that she can’t sit idly by. Witch Mountain is so dangerous that Explorers have never fully mapped it, and Jezzybella is the most evil witch of them all. With the help of Ethan, Beanie and Shay, she steals a dirigible and flies off to rescue her father. Yet this time they could have bitten off more than they can chew. There are things on Witch Mountain that are more dangerous than witches, and Stella may be forced to rely on her dangerous magic if they are to have any chance of surviving…

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The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club

The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club was written by Alex Bell and is due for release this November. It is a middle grade fantasy story which focuses on team of brave explorers on an expedition to discover the coldest place on the planet. The novel is the first part of a planned series, though at the time of writing no further instalments have been announced.

Stella Starflake Pearl knows that she is destined to become a great explorer. She has to be, as only explorers are given three names. She longs to join the prestigious Polar Bear Explorers’ Club, however knows that they are old fashioned and do not allow girls on their expeditions. However, her adoptive father, Felix, has never been one for rules. He convinces the head of the club to allow Stella to join them on one expedition to give her a chance to prove her worth.

As Stella sets out, she is quick to make acquaintances with the other kids on the expedition – wolf whisperer Shay, Beanie the half-elf and bad-tempered magician Ethan. Yet their mission to find the coldest part of the Icelands quickly goes awry. When an accident separates the four youths from their parents, they are forced to band together to survive in the frozen wastes and complete their quest.

Danger and adventure lie between Stella’s team and their goal. Along their journey they are forced to deal with frostbite, savage cabbages and, most terrifying of all, the huge and ferocious yeti. Stella is determined to prove that she can be an explorer. Yet, as she travels deeper into the Icelands, she also begins to learn more about where she came from. Stella has always known that she is different from other girls, but the truth of her origins is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined…

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