Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After being uprooted to escape danger more than once, the little Clock family—Pod, Homily, and their teenaged daughter Arrietty—have been settling into a comfortable life of borrowing in a miniature village. But a few human beings’ interest in the Clocks puts the family back in jeopardy in The Borrowers Aloft by author Mary Norton.
While I enjoyed the first two Borrowers’ books and two Borrowers’ movies back in my childhood, this is my first time reading this far into this classic children’s fantasy series. I think it’s my fondness for the characters, rather than the story, that made me like this fourth book as much as I did.
I got a bit tired during the early chapters with humans talking about the borrowers; the story’s focus could have turned to the borrowers themselves sooner. I was also a little disappointed about not getting to see Spiller until quite late in the book, though his significance concerning Arrietty snaps up a couple of notches. And the ending is a calm cliffhanger, not exactly a happy one, with a tearful (redundant?) promise from Arrietty that I found dissatisfying, anticlimactic, and maybe pointless.
Even so, it’s great how the Clocks work together, all three using their heads for the escape they need to make. Plus, I always like the thought-provoking tidbits in their conversations and reflections that truly show their borrower ideology. (Like, the fact that humans hunt humans absolutely appalls borrowers, which I 1000% understand.)
I’m hoping for a fulfilling series conclusion in the next and last book.
Update after reading The Borrowers Avenged, the fifth and last book of the series:
I’d recommend either getting your hands on an original copy of Book Four, The Borrowers Aloft, or finding Book Four’s original conclusion online somewhere. Then let that original ending be The End.
A few more of my thoughts are here.
Here’s my review of the first book in the series, The Borrowers.