Melanie Tamaki is an outsider. An unpopular and poor girl, she's barely coping with school and life, but everything changes when she returns home one day and finds her mother missing. Soon, Melanie embarks on an epic journey to Half World, a dark place where her mother must be saved from the vile creature known as Mr. Glueskin. What Melanie doesn't realize is the fate of the universe is at stake, and her choices could change everything.This is a unique and darkly fantastical book, introducing readers to a whole new world in Half World. The journey Melanie takes is not easy, but I knew that going in. Nothing was ever going to be easy for Melanie, and she was going to have to work hard, to suffer, to learn her place in the world.The different worlds in this book were astounding. This book was a new experience for me, reading about the world of flesh, the world of spirit, and the half world. The world of flesh was familiar, it's the world we live in, but Half World was frightening. I found it to be so rich and descriptive, so haunting. Mr. Glueskin especially so. The way he was described was so vivid.Melanie's searching for so many things in Half World. Searching for her mother, yes, that much is obvious, but she's also searching for herself. She's lost and alone in the world of flesh, horribly misunderstood and confused, and only in the confusing place known as Half World can she find her own power, her own purpose in life. Only there can she find a reason to continue living.Half World was a very interesting book, but I can't help but wonder if it was one of those deep and meaningful books with a message that I wasn't quite able to grasp. Still, it was unique, the differences between it and what I usually read kept me turning the page. I'm sure there are readers who will enjoy this book with its Asian influences and wonder.