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The firebird mystery : a Jack Mason…
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The firebird mystery : a Jack Mason adventure

by Darrell Pitt

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192537,190 (4.13)13
  1. 00
    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (lkernagh)
    lkernagh: Same style of fast paced, alternate reality/steampunk YA adventure with air ships.
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I enjoy steampunk as a genre. Such a fun way to escape day-to-day realities! In The Firebird Mystery, Pitt pays homage to the Sherlock Holmes novels I enjoyed reading in my youth, and in true steampunk fashion, spins the concept on its head by creating a fun mashup character in the rather eccentric Ignatius Doyle. Even Doyle's lodgings on the top floor of 221 Bee Street excite imagination, filled to the rafters with curiosities, including a tarantula named Bertha and a personal steamship parked on the roof. Filled with Nazies, MI5, a secret society, and a nefarious character in Professor M, Pitt keeps the plot moving forward at a good clip. The historical fiction reader that I am enjoyed all the references to Leonardo Da Vinci's works and seeing General Winston Churchill as a character, strutting across the pages. I like that Pitt has created in Scarlet a feisty young suffragette to match wits with Jack. The world build is also pretty good. I really liked the idea of the metrotowers and all the various methods of travel. A possible downside of the book for me was that the characters came across to my adult reading mind as rather flat and flimsy, lacking complexity or development. As the first book in a planned series, it is hoped that the characters will further develop in future books. The story also takes on a 'telling' rather than 'showing' approach that made it come across less vividly to me, but that probably does not matter for a younger reading audience.

Overall, this is a fun bit of YA adventure reading and may appeal to readers who enjoy Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy.

A copy of this novel was provided courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  lkernagh | Jan 25, 2015 |
14 year old Jack Mason was a circus acrobat until his parents were killed in a freak accident. Now he lives in an orphanage until he is released into the care of a famous detective called Ignatius Doyle. Ignatius is always testing Jack's powers of observation by placing strange objects around him but then a real-life case presents itself when Scarlett Bell comes to say that her father has disappeared and she needs their help to find him. This is an alternative 1800s detective mystery where people travel by air ship and there is perhaps real magic afoot. Fast paced and well-written. ( )
  nicsreads | Jun 1, 2014 |
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Jack Mason has grown up as an acrobat in a circus. Now, after the tragic death of his parents, he must live inside the gloomy walls of Sunnyside Orphanage in London, a city of fog and snow, filled with airships, steam cars and metrotowers that stretch into space. Luckily for Jack, he's taken under the wing of the brilliant and eccentric detective Ignatius Doyle. A girl named Scarlet Bell comes seeking the great detective's help. Her father has been kidnapped, and the future of the world itself may be at stake. Is the evil hand of Professor M pulling all the strings? Mr Doyle and Jack know there is no time to lose.… (more)

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