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The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

The Wonderling (2017)

by Mira Bartok

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12915139,821 (3.85)5



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
He’s been known by many names, including Arthur, Spike, and Number Thirteen. A little hybrid creature known as a groundling, Arthur has lived his whole life in an orphanage, under the control of a cruel headmistress. When he and a friend get a chance to escape, they take it — but where will they go? Arthur hopes to find answers about his past, but it’s a long way to the city where he was born, and many dangers await him there.

I wanted to like this book, but it never grabbed me. I read the first half before giving up, and it was like a cross between Annie and Oliver Twist, with fantasy elements and vaguely Arthurian themes thrown in. When I realized that I kept putting the book down after a page or two, I decided that this book is not for me. That’s not to say that others won’t enjoy it, particularly children who love fantasy adventure stories. ( )
  foggidawn | Jan 20, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book reminds me of Oliver Twist. I really like how the characters emerge from a desperate environment, how the story folds in front of our eyes.. but part of the mystery stays until the very end. I loved the friendship between Arthur (aka Wonderling, 13..) and Trinket. Trinket is full of adventure and loves taking risks. She really believes in her abilities and the best of people. Arthur- due to the life he suffered- is scared to take the chance. This aspect of the book reminded me a lot about the real life... How many people are not happy with circumstances (career, personal relationship..), but afraid to take that step for a better life.

I loved the new city too- Mira captured the atmosphere of a well functioning city- rich & poor neighborhood comparisons.. It is not all rewards and happiness for Arthur either- he has to work hard for his happy end. I kinda lost my interest towards the last part (this might be due to my distraction as well). Overall, I am glad I read book- but I won't be following the series.
  soontobefree | Jul 13, 2018 |
What a great little story. So different, so imaginative. A very fun read! Well written. Adorable characters. Captivating story. Would definitely recommend this book! ( )
  TheReadingMermaid | Feb 18, 2018 |
"The Wonderling", opens with an anthropomorphised fox-like animal and what appears to be a pastoral version of Victorian England. In the first page, of the first chapter, we see the imaginative names and elaborate sentence structure. And therefore begins an entertaining adventure that reads as Dickens would. It's filled with breathtaking pages and the illustrations will be done in duotone.

Bottom Line: I am in love...love....love. I could sing all day about it. It's like a combination of my favorite classics. This book is a treasure!

Reviewed for Net Galley ( )
  LorisBook | Dec 21, 2017 |
A nameless orphan being raised at a grim, isolated orphanage, makes a friend, and an escape, but finds that the city is, if anything, a crueler place to live. The hero is a "groundling"--part human, part animal with unusual genetic mutations, in his case a one-eared fox. We never learn why or how these creatures occur; they're clearly a repressed population. This is lively, with some memorable characters, but the plotting is shaky and often perfunctory, and the world-building is woefully underdeveloped. A sequel seems likely. B
  mwalkerlib | Oct 15, 2017 |
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Doug, for love and wonder;
for Jed, who helped to build my flying suit;
and for Jen, who gave me wings to fly
First words
Before he was called the Wonderling, he had many names: Puddlehead, Plonker, Groundling and Spike, among others.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

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Wikipedia in English


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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763691216, Hardcover)

In this extraordinary debut novel with its deft nod to Dickensian heroes and rogues, Mira Bartók tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.

Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you!

Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name — a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck — it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home’s loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name — Arthur, like the good king in the old stories — and a best friend. Using Trinket’s ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur’s true destiny. Richly imagined, with shimmering language, steampunk motifs, and gripping, magical plot twists, this high adventure fantasy is the debut novel of award-winning memoirist Mira Bartók and has already been put into development for a major motion picture.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:15:44 -0400)

Publisher Annotation: In this extraordinary debut novel with its deft nod to Dickensian heroes and rogues, Mira Bart?k tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.

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