Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1076 0
Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
May 13, 2014
ISBN
1442498773
In nineteenth-century England, a boy is about to discover a mysterious mechanical world he may never escape. Ten-year-old Jack Foster has stepped through a doorway and into quite a different London. Londinium is a smoky, dark, and dangerous place, home to mischievous metal fairies and fearsome clockwork dragons that breathe scalding steam. The people wear goggles to protect their eyes, brass grill insets in their nostrils to filter air, or mechanical limbs to replace missing ones. Over it all rules the Lady, and the Lady has demanded a new son—a perfect flesh-and-blood child. She has chosen Jack. His only hope of escape lies with a legendary clockwork bird. The Gearwing grants wishes—or it did, before it was broken—before it was killed. But some things don’t stay dead forever. Fans of books like Splendors and Glooms and Goblin Secrets will find Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times irresistible!

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Incredible narration and a unique story.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Just one page in, this novel's narration style had won me over. It was beautiful to the ear and I could almost hear Geoffrey Holder (the beautiful narrator from Charlie and the Chocolate factory) telling me the story in his deep tones. The premise behind this story is really interesting and I love the idea of an alternative London, one that is much more dark and mysterious. In the second half, we got to see a really fun twist on the phoenix myth and I appreciated the author's skill in making such an ancient and powerful story fit within the world that she had created.

I did find the main character a little difficult to like. Jack wasn't particularly interesting and, for much of the book, merely allowed himself to be pulled along by the actions of the other characters rather than to be an active component in the plot. This did get better in the second half of the book, once Jack falls from favor and learns about the darkness that really lurks in Londinium. I also didn't really connect with the two adults characters, Dr. Snailwater and Xeno, but I loved Beth. It is strange, that, despite being the only character who is not quite human, she is the most fun and caring individual.

I did have some issues with the ending, but only in that I wanted a little more information. I would have loved to discover where the Lady came from and why she never ages, but I understand that this was not necessarily important to THIS story. Perhaps a prequel or novella would satiate my curiosity.

Flights and Chimes and Mysterious times features really lovely writing and a fun story. I am still not a convert to the whole steampunk genre, but this is a much more enjoyable example than many of the others that I have read.
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