Refractal by Sophia Estelle Wood

Reading Sophia Wood’s Marie’s Atlas series is like entering a complex and intriguing dream.  The third book in this series has just been released and it’s the most complex yet.

sophia wood refractal

It opens with a puzzle based on Sierpinski triangles, a fractal of equilateral triangles, a mathematically generated pattern that can be reproduced at any magnification or reduction.   As in the previous novels, this puzzle opens the door for Marie to join with her metaphysical companion Atlas.

“Atlas was her friend that existed within her hand and communicated through thought.  Atlas was found in one of her parents’ paleontology dig sites that came to Marie as a Fibonacci egg-shaped puzzle.  When she solved the puzzle, Atlas fused into Marie’s hand and they set out on an amazing adventure.”

The Sierpinski triangle puzzle, on a silver box, reveals an inscription:

Needed are the logically skilled

A quest must be fulfilled

Find the triangle’s relation to your past gates

Another adventure awaits 

How will the Sierpinski triangle relate to the Fibonacci Sequence?  This is just the beginning of a series of puzzles, time travel, and logic that Marie and Atlas must solve. All in a quest to find out why a civilization is in decline.

It’s a technical civilization that has descended into chaos and meaninglessness.

Use virtue, knowledge and skill

Help them or this planet will become still.

She is only given limited help and clues to challenging puzzles to figure out how the civilization is meant to work and why it’s gone wrong.

There are many parallels to Alice in Wonderland in Refractals.  Repeating patterns are found in the puzzles as well as in the causes for decline.  Civilizations tend to repeat their virtues as well as their mistakes.  But Marie and Atlas explore ways of bringing chaos to order, correcting the patterns that have set in motion the deterioration of good systems.

You’re plunged into puzzles from the opening and it’s a fast paced book.  The illustrations are engaging and are as much a part of the narrative as the prose.

It’s written for middle grade students, but I think it’s a good one for high school and even college level readers who are interested in mathematics, adventure, and fantasy.  It’s a great way to breathe life into math for a student who is struggling with the meaning of it all.  In my review of the previous books of this series, I called it “mathmagic.”

I could see this being a good book for a family to read together, discussing both the puzzles and the conflicts that Marie and Atlas face.

Here’s a link to Sophie Wood’s Amazon Author’s page:

If you’d like to read my review of the first two books you can read it here.

Thanks for reading my blog and happy reading!

sophia wood books

One thought on “Refractal by Sophia Estelle Wood

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s