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Matthew J. Kirby

Author of The Clockwork Three

15+ Works 2,849 Members 100 Reviews

About the Author

Also includes: Matthew Kirby (1)

Image credit: Azure Midzinski, 2008


Works by Matthew J. Kirby

The Clockwork Three (2010) 987 copies
Icefall (2011) 465 copies
Cave of Wonders (2013) 249 copies
Last Descendants (2016) 216 copies
A Taste for Monsters (2016) 187 copies
Tomb of the Khan (2016) 126 copies
The Lost Kingdom (2013) 98 copies
The Arctic Code (2015) 68 copies
Star Splitter (2023) 68 copies
Island of the Sun (2016) 36 copies
The Rogue World (2017) 15 copies

Associated Works

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 24 (2009) — Cover artist — 7 copies
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 16 — Contributor — 4 copies


Common Knowledge



Shades of [b:Hugo Cabret|67593|The Invention of Hugo Cabret|Brian Selznick|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170676646s/67593.jpg|527941], [b:Thief Lord|113304|The Thief Lord|Cornelia Funke|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1280990877s/113304.jpg|3313414], and [b:Oliver Twist|18254|Oliver Twist|Charles Dickens|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255733364s/18254.jpg|3057979], with a sort of Gangs of New York setting, brought together in a kind of magical, sad, but ultimately hopeful, plot. Once I was about halfway through, I found this big, ambitious first novel hard to put down.

It's basically about three kids with very hard lives wandering around a big 19th Century New England city (presumably New York, though it isn't actually identified as such). They're each deeply troubled in some way, and each yearns for a specific solution to their grief. As it turns out, the answers to their problems lay in working together.

Like another new book I read earlier this year ([b:Boys Without Names|6580712|Boys without Names|Kashmira Sheth|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1250894213s/6580712.jpg|6774144]), there is a lot of child labor in this story. We see how in early America children were kidnapped and sold into slavery, or forced to work long hours to support their struggling families. It's very sad and distressing. But our young heroes are resilient despite the burdens placed on them.

I don't want to give away the plot, which is actually pretty complicated and hard to sum up. Suffice it to say, this has the potential to be really popular, and deservedly so. Kirby has a gift for describing the emotional turmoil his three main characters struggle with, and he makes each of them likable and believable in their own way. Giuseppe is the youngest, a busker with a heart of gold. Hannah loves to read, but is forced to quit school and go to work as a maid when her father can no longer provide for his family. Frederick, the oldest, lives in relative ease as a clockmaker's apprentice, but his memories of living in a terrible sweat shop/orphanage haunt him. Throw in a golem, a spiritualist, a park warden, a mysterious treasure, and an old churchyard and you've got yourself plenty of material for a great story.
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LibrarianDest | 30 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |
good! need to get my hands on the next one soon!
lmauro123 | 1 other review | Dec 28, 2023 |
good! need to get my hands on the next one soon!
lmauro123 | 1 other review | Dec 28, 2023 |
I didn't read this. I got it in a lot with other books.
jezebellydancer | Oct 20, 2023 |



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