The Cabinet of Earths (Hardcover)
November 2011 Indie Next List
“Strange things begin to happen when 13-year-old Maya and her family move from California to Paris for a year. She meets odd relatives, including the strange, almost invisible Cousin Louise, and an older cousin who takes care of an ornate cabinet seemingly filled with bits of earth. Danger seems near as an odd 'Uncle' with purple eyes takes a special interest in Maya's exuberant five-year-old brother, James. Readers will enter this eerie atmosphere and find themselves holding their breath as Maya tries to rescue James and solve the mysterious meaning of the Cabinet of Earths.”
— Barbara Katz, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
The Cabinet of Earths, Anne Nesbet's debut novel for tweens, blends fantasy, science, and horror into an irresistible story in the vein of the classic His Dark Materials series.
Twelve-year-old Maya is miserable when she has to move from California to Paris. Not speaking French at a school full of snobby French girls is bad enough, but Maya believes there is something sinister going on in her new city. A purple-eyed man follows Maya and her younger brother, James. Statues seem to have Maya's face. And an eerie cabinet filled with mysterious colored bottles calls to her.
When James becomes the target of dark forces, Maya decides she must answer the call of the Cabinet of Earths, despite the danger.
“Nesbet’s first novel is an impressive achievement, its substance and style gracefully blended. Above all, Maya is a fully rounded, complex character, someone whose qualities and struggles are admirably and appealingly central to the fantasy.”
-The Horn Book
“Blending elements of magic, science, and even horror with evocative prose and a confident narrative voice, Nesbet immerses readers in her contemporary Parisian setting.”
“Nesbet has written a unique, interesting fantasy with just enough suspense to keep readers turning the pages long into the night. Fantasy readers of all ages, especially middle school students, will enjoy this story.”
-Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Though it’s easy to generalize this as a coming-of-age tale, Nesbet more specifically pinpoints this as the story of a young girl coming to terms with mortality while realizing that finding her intrinsic worth makes her content and also inspires her appreciation of those around her.”
“This debut novel of intrigue, family betrayal and an unsolved case of missing children will grip readers from first page to last. Readers will be swept along by the novel’s swift pace and enjoy the mystery’s unraveling with Maya and Valko as their companions.”
“In her debut novel, Nesbet has crafted a carefully imagined, magical world—one that is shrouded in mystery and keeps the reader engaged and guessing. With imaginative alchemy, compelling action, and sensitive characterizations, this novel will undoubtedly win over fantasy fans.”
“Nesbet plays on both the charm of her Parisian setting and the shadowy eeriness of a city steeped in history to create an alluring sense of place that envelops readers from the first page.”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Maya is a fully realized character...and readers will be rooting for her to find her strengths and save the day. This unique fantasy will catch its audience’s attention and leave them thinking about time, families, and immortality.”
-School Library Journal