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Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space (2006)

by Philip Reeve

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Larklight Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0564519,323 (3.79)48
In an alternate Victorian England, young Arthur and his sister Myrtle, residents of Larklight, a floating house in one of Her Majesty's outer space territories, uncover a spidery plot to destroy the solar system.
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    Inky_Fingers: I think there is the same kind of sense of humor in both.
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    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (themulhern)
    themulhern: Both are alternate history with a bunch of Englishness thrown in. Larklight is set during the reign of Queen Victoria, Leviathan WWI. Both are copiously illustrated, in at least a few versions. Both are highly imaginative and unrealistic about technology, in different ways.… (more)

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» See also 48 mentions

English (44)  German (1)  All languages (45)
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  davidrgrigg | Mar 23, 2024 |
Steampunk space pirates! Giant spiders from outer space! Adventure, fights, and the exploration of our solar system full of magnificent alien species. Clearly written by someone who watches Firefly and with Star Trek references, this book has lovely illustrations of horrible creatures and a fun story. ( )
  mslibrarynerd | Jan 13, 2024 |
Fun and silly and light-hearted. I really enjoyed this. It's Victorian pulp sci-fi! ( )
  JenniferElizabeth2 | Aug 25, 2020 |
To put it simply, this book was just good, solid fun.

The premise is a fantastical and original one...a warped timeline involving the conquering of space by the British empire during the Victorian era. That's right; people have already journeyed to Jupiter and beyond, and there are countless fun and fascinating gadgets, creatures, and concepts that populate this rousing space adventure.

Art Mumby and his sister Myrtle (who he doesn't think too highly of, seeing as she's very concerned with being stuffy and proper) live in a huge, pieces-parts house orbiting off the moon, called Larklight. Which is a fairly normal existance apparently...until a mysterious and terrifying gang of monstrous white spiders show up, overrun Larklight, and force Art and Myrtle to evacuate into deep space, where their adventures begin. And this book really does know the meaning of "adventure."

There's the attack of the terrifying Potter Moth and its hungry offspring. There's the teenage space pirate Jack Havock and his weird and endearing crew of alien denizens. There's the intergalactic plot to take back the galaxy in the name of an ancient race. There's the secrets behind Art's mother's disappearance. There's the potential destruction of London. And that's just the half of it.

Art narrates in spectacular British style, with all the prim and hilarious idiosyncrisies of the culture. Myrtle's inserted diary entries give her unique perspective throughout as well. And mainly, the sheer audacity of the author creating all these eccentric new ideas and characters is wonderful, balancing between being over-the-top and just plain likable. And the old-fashioned sketch illustrations on nearly every page add a lot as well.

Just a fun, light read, but I can't wait to get the next one. ( )
  booksong | Mar 18, 2020 |
Entirely delightful, with a rambunctious sense of wonder unimpeded by any stodgy reality, but still sensibly anchored in realistic processes. Adventure of the Jules Verne variety, with plenty of swashbuckling for the young (and young at heart). ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Reeveprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beck, RufusNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Křesťanová, DominikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nolte, UlrikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steinbruner, GregNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Later, while I was facing the Potter Moth, or fleeing for my life from the First Ones, or helping man a cannon aboard Jack Havock's brig Sophronia, I would often think back to the way my life used to be, and to that last afternoon at Larklight, before all our misfortunes began.
What? I said, quite confused. He loves Myrtle? But she wears Spectacles, and she snaps at people.
Mr McMurdo hurried off, muttering, I cannae do it Captain. I'm an alchemist, not an engineer.
The pages of this volume are impregnated with Snagsby's Patent Folio-dubbin to preserve them against the depredations of space moth and paper bats.   (T.p. verso)
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In an alternate Victorian England, young Arthur and his sister Myrtle, residents of Larklight, a floating house in one of Her Majesty's outer space territories, uncover a spidery plot to destroy the solar system.

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Book description
Arthur (Art) Mumsby and his irritating sister Myrtle live with their father in a huge and rambling house called Larklight…that just happens to be traveling through outer space. When a visitor called Mr. Webster arrives for a visit, it is far from an innocent social call. Before long Art and Myrtle are off on an adventure to the furthest reaches of space, where they will do battle with evil forces in order to save each other—and the universe. A fantastically original Victorian tale set in an outer space world that might have come from the imaginations of Jules Verne or L Frank Baum, but has a unique gravitational pull all its own.
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Average: (3.79)
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