Steeplejack

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1885 0
Steeplejack
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
June 14, 2016
ISBN
9780765383426
Buy This Book
      

Thoughtfully imaginative and action-packed, Steeplejack is New York Times bestselling A. J. Hartley's YA debut set in a 19th-century South African fantasy world Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of the city of Bar-Selehm. Dramatically different communities live and work alongside each other. The white Feldish command the nation’s higher echelons of society. The native Mahweni are divided between city life and the savannah. And then there’s Ang, part of the Lani community who immigrated over generations ago as servants and now mostly live in poverty on Bar-Selehm’s edges. When Ang is supposed to meet her new apprentice Berrit, she finds him dead. That same night, the Beacon, an invaluable historical icon, is stolen. The Beacon’s theft commands the headlines, yet no one seems to care about Berrit’s murder―except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician. When he offers her a job investigating his death, she plunges headlong into new and unexpected dangers. Meanwhile, crowds gather in protests over the city’s mounting troubles. Rumors surrounding the Beacon’s theft grow. More suspicious deaths occur. With no one to help Ang except Josiah’s haughty younger sister, a savvy newspaper girl, and a kindhearted herder, Ang must rely on her intellect and strength to resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city descends into chaos.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

An absolute thrill ride
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Anglet Sutonga, 17, is one, if not the, best steeplejack in Bar-Selehm. Her job involves climbing factories and tall buildings to repair chimneys and the like. She is part of the Lani community, who are mostly in poverty. When Ang finds her new apprentice dead and hears a historical icon stolen in one night, she suspects the two might be connected, and a sneaky politician hires her to look into it. With danger around every corner, Ang will have to solve the mystery before more lives are lost.

STEEPLEJACK by A.J. Hartley bursts with rich imagery and world building. Bar-Selehm is a city in a historical South African fantasy world with three primary communities: the white Feldish, the native Mahweni, and the Lani. One major element of the story is how the communities and races interact together and how Ang feels she has no place as she doesn’t adhere to the more traditional Lani customs. The descriptions of the city and the landscape are beautiful, and even with all the smoke and chaos in the city, it clearly feels like a home to Ang as she knows every roof.

The detective/mystery plot is well layered and holds more than one unexpected twist. The story gets even better as Ang teams up with a newspaper girl and a politician’s sister to figure out some of the clues. All are highly intelligent and savvy, and their dialogues are a joy. Ang’s sisters also play important roles, and the strained family relationships are written well and realistically.

Luscious world building, a tense mystery, and a smart heroine combine to make STEEPLEJACK an absolute thrill ride.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

There's No Ham in Hamburgers: Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Foods
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From hot dogs and hamburgers to ice cream and pizza,...
The Light of Days Young Readers’ Edition: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
As their communities were being destroyed, groups of Jewish women...
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to...
Paint by Sticker Kids: Outer Space
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Blast off into outer space with this mess-free sticker craft!...
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are...
The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mischievous Ntombi is not at all afraid of the fearsome...
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Brave young Pedro faces monsters and greedy guards when he...
What Beauty There Is
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson's stunning YA...
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This original board book series, which begins with America's favorite...
I Am Not a Penguin
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This hilarious story of a pangolin with an identity crisis...
Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers, #2)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
In 17th-century Paris, 19-year-old Catherine Monvoisin is a well-heeled...
Sam Can't Sleep
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When Sam can’t sleep, he decides to ask all the...
The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years...
Fate Calling
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
A cursed fae prince. A lonely human lass. A...
Welcome to California
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to California! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A buttoned-up overachiever works overtime to keep her inner...

Latest Member Reviews

The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
"‘The Mother of Monsters’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, tells the story of Ntombi, the chief's daughter. She..."
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
"‘Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, is great for younger elementary readers and anyone who..."
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
"BASEBALL BABY is a delightful board book about baseball. The book begins with heading to the park to play baseball..."
I Am Not a Penguin
 
4.0
"I AM NOT A PENGUIN is a silly picture book that manages to teach young readers about pangolins. A pangolin..."
Sam Can't Sleep
 
4.5
"SAM CAN'T SLEEP is a fun picture book read that introduces the concept of nocturnal animals. It's nighttime, and all..."
Welcome to California
 
4.0
"WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA is a fun picture book of facts about the state. It covers topics from the state capitol..."
Zoom: Dinosaur Adventure
 
4.5
"ZOOM: DINOSAUR ADVENTURE takes the reader on a journey to the time of the dinosaurs. Jamie and Jasmine are going..."
Let's Pretend Fire Station
 
5.0
"LET'S PRETEND FIRE STATION is a delightful peek-through board book about firefighters. The book features pictures of children, firetrucks, and..."
Rosa Loves Dinosaurs / A Rosa Le Encantan Los Dinosaurios
 
3.5
"ROSA LOVES DINOSAURS/ A ROSA LE ENCANTAN LOS DINOSAURIOS is a fun bilingual board book about a love of dinosaurs...."
Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch
 
5.0
"Eva Evergreen is a young witch about to embark on her Novice Quest. As the daughter of one of the..."
Homer on the Case
 
4.5
"HOMER ON THE CASE is a delightful middle grade mystery, featuring unlikely detectives. Homer, a homing pigeon, and Lulu, a..."
The Thingity-Jig
 
5.0
"THE THINGITY-JIG is a fun picture book read about invention and friendship. Although all his friends are asleep, Bear feels..."
Bridge of Souls (City of Ghosts #3)
 
4.0
"What worked: This is a satisfying conclusion to City of Ghosts series. Engaging characters, fast-paced plot, and spooky magic woven..."
This is Your World
 
5.0
"THIS IS YOUR WORLD is a lovely picture book that introduces the world and the importance of taking care of..."
Mermaid Life: The Joy of Making Waves
 
5.0
"MERMAID LIFE is a fun collection of artwork themed around mermaids. With a few fun facts, silly moments, and inspirational..."
Yawn
 
4.5
"YAWN is a cute book about the contagious nature of yawns. A little boy begins a yawn that carries through..."
The Bear in the Boat
 
4.5
"THE BEAR IN THE BOAT is a sweet story of kindness and helping your neighbors. A storm is arriving, and..."
It's Bath Time! (Indestructibles)
 
4.5
"IT'S BATH TIME! is an adorable installment in the Indestructibles series. The book features baby animals and baby who have..."
I Really, Really Need to Pee!
 
4.0
"I REALLY, REALLY NEED TO PEE! is a silly picture book about a bush baby that is out and about..."
Bloom
 
4.5
"BLOOM is a sweet picture book about the power of kind words. A young girl passes by a beautiful flower..."