I haven't read anything by Martha Wells before and you know that Strange Chemistry titles usually are hit or miss for me, and yet, Emilie and The Hollow World was just as delightful and refreshing as Pantomime.
This is pretty much a middle-grade book rather than YA, and Emilie is fifteen. There are also no controversial or sexual topics, there is no romance, so please do buy it for your child who loves fantasy and adventure without any sort of reservations.
Emilie is a wonderful character. She is a decisive young woman who takes her destiny in her own hands when her uncle and aunt refuse her to go and help her cousin with her school while constantly sneering and berating her for acting scandalous (they keep comparing her to her mother who was an actress or in their eyes - whore, despite her being married to Emilie's father).
Emilie doesn't act this way, she is bright, curious, dreams of adventure and wants to explore the world. She is not interested in boys or romantic relationship. So she ships her belongings secretly to her cousin and runs away planning to spend the rest of her money on buying a ticket on the ship to her cousin.
Unfortunately she ends up on Lord Engal's private ship which is under attack, and it escapes the battle by immersing itself in the sea and moving through aetheric currents to The Hollow World - a hidden second world in the core of Earth.
Martha Wells's description of this world is beautiful. I could easily imagine half-submerged into sea civilisations of vaguely humanoid species, different languages and strange creatures of the depth, - and through it all Emilie with her bravery manages to save her crew and her new friends a few times and help them win against their enemy so they can go back to her world.
Delightful, adventurous and quick summery read. Very much recommended for young girls and boys along with their parents. I'm definitely reading Martha Wells' other fantasy books soon.