Thienemann-Esslinger

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No-Man’s Town

Age 13

368 pages

Format:
138 x 220 mm

published:
14.02.2020

  • Young Adult Novel

Tobias Goldfarb

No-Man’s Town

In a nutshell:
In No-man’s town, magic is par for the course. Here rain falls upwards, rooms appear precisely when they are needed and demons cavort in the lave between the paving stones. But it is not the demons, dragons or other sinister beings of this dubious parallel world that are threatening to destroy no-man’s town. It is rather the real world and its technology that is trying to overwrite all magic. Josephine and Eli also come from this real world, the heart of Berlin, the girls who are the only ones with the power to restore the balance and thereby to save the connected worlds.

Synopsis:
A young girl in an interim world, a realm between dream and reality, between childhood and adulthood. When the balance of the worlds is threatened, Josephine and Elisabeth try to save both worlds…  

Sometimes Josephine doesn’t know that she happens to be in no-man’s town, but there are signs: another quality to the light, or rain that is falling oddly all around. Little demons are romping about in the lava under the paving (by the way, they are not as bad as everyone always thinks. Mrs. Granite from the third floor is worse). When dragons fly past the TV tower, then she is there. When she is sitting in the train and someone opposite her has a forked tongue, then she is in no-man’s town or there is an exhibition somewhere for piercing and body modification. No-man’s town is still Berlin but still quite different. One is strolling through a town that is at the same time familiar and totally alien.  
No-man’s town is dangerous and unpredictable but even so Josephine feels more at ease there than here. Here she is the closed, fearful girl who looks like a boy and is only called “Joseph” by everyone. Who sometimes helps out in her parents’ souvenir shop, which was once planned as an intellectual bookshop. A girl who doesn’t really know what to do with the world around her. In no-man’s town, on the other hand, Josephine is occasionally bitten but nobody ever laughs at her.   Josephine tries to find out what no-man’s town is. What it has to do with the dreams, visions and fears of the people here. How the two worlds influence each other mutually. Were the two worlds once a single world? Is no-man’s land Josephine’s inner world? Or the inner world of the whole town? Are there other people like her? Here, in any case, she has nothing in common with most other young people. The best example of this is Eli from her class, who is a self-confident, good-looking social media star. Whereas Josephine does not even have a profile on the trendy social media platform Magick. And still there is something that links the unequal girls, they become friends. When Josephine falls into a coma and seems to get lost in no-man’s town, Eli takes it upon herself to rescue her friend.  
While Josephine gathers magical beings in no-man’s town to prevent the obliteration of the fantastical parallel world, Eli back in reality tracks down the instigator of the threatening catastrophe. All trails lead to the social media mogul Istvan Korvusz and his supercomputer. Together the girls fight in the two worlds for the same goal: to restore the balance between reality and no-man’s town, technology and magic, reality and dreams.  
Josephine proves to be a leader when she is able to win over the “real2 dragons of no-man’s town for the existence of the parallel world. Eli discovers that technology has made itself independent in reality by means of artificial intelligence and with the help of specially built mechanical dragons is seeking to overwrite the magic of no-man’s town. In a race against time – for Josephine’s life is hanging on a fine thread – the two unequal friends manage to overpower the artificial intelligence and to bring about a balance between the worlds.

     

  • A grandiose genre mix of urban fantasy, humour and coming-of-age
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  • A literary discovery
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