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Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck…

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

by Philip Reeve

Other authors: David Wyatt (Illustrator)

Series: Larklight Trilogy (1)

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8093916,155 (3.83)43

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English (38)  German (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Lots of interesting ideas and world building, but I didn't care for the voice or the two main characters. Trying to be humorous and wasn't. Shame, because I was really impressed by "Mortal Engines". But I did LOVE the illustrations! ( )
  Inky_Fingers | Aug 25, 2017 |
One of the stars is for the illustrations. They're the best part of the book. This tale of "dauntless pluck" is a one-note joke in the form of a young adult steampunk space opera. The problem with the premise is that once you establish that the main characters are spoofs of the classic penny dreadful kid heroes, there's really not much reason to keep reading. Nothing more is done with the joke. It doesn't go off the rails, except for one passing Star Trek reference, but there are no surprises. The major plot revelations are obvious chapters before. I assume this is intentional but it is also off-putting. It's hard to get engaged with what happens to caricatures.

But the illustrations are great. ( )
  ChrisRiesbeck | May 25, 2017 |
Amusing. ( )
  rakerman | May 14, 2017 |
About Art, Mrytle and Jack Havoc-Spiders-Set in 1900's ?- but space exploration was around 1500 BC- ships: spaceships ( )
  Quilby | Jan 18, 2017 |
It is the mid-nineteenth century, Queen Victoria is on the throne, and the British Empire stretches into the stars. With their absent-minded father for their only human company, Arthur and Myrtle live in a ramshackle house named Larklight floating in deep space. But then giant spiders invade Larklight and kidnap their father, and Art and Myrtle barely escape. They join up with a pirate crew led by the notorious Captain Jack Havock and have a number of thrilling adventures whilst evading the spiders.

I really, really wanted to like this book. The illustrations are charming, and the combination of steampunk and ya should make this book a slam-dunk. Reeve has created a universe filled with sentient storms on Saturn, a plague that turns people into trees, ships powered by alchemical weddings...It's imaginative, though a little heavy-handed. But it just didn't work for me.

The main problem I had was the characters. From the very start, Art continually jibes at his sister for being so prissy and priggish. Turns out, the author didn't like the sister much either. Myrtle is unbelievably awful, in this very specific way that only female characters are. She keeps asking Art what's going to happen next and demanding he reassure her--even though she's years older! They get rescued from certain death by pirates, and she complains that the pirate ship is dirty. She gets kidnapped by obvious villains and thinks that just because they have nice linen they must be good. Running from more certain death, she refuses to run across the villains' lawn because it has a "keep off the grass" sign. She whines constantly. She saves the day literally completely by accident. And then she and the Peter Pan-type character fall into each others' arms, for no reason I can discern.

If I hadn't been so annoyed with Myrtle, the plot would still have frustrated me. It's a series of set pieces, all culminating in a deus-ex-machina. I don't think I was worried for even a single paragraph. Disappointing! ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Reeveprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorall 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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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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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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