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Larklight Paperback – 18 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (18 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747584400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747584407
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.7 x 18.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,065,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Philip Reeve was born and grew up in Brighton. He worked in a bookshop there and on various other projects before starting a career as an illustrator. Although he has been writing stories since he was very young, Mortal Engines was the first to be published - and to incredible critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for The Whitbread Children's Book Award and was awarded the GOLD Nestle Smarties Book Prize as well as being named The Blue Peter Book of the Year 2003. Philip lives in Devon with this wife and son. Illustrated throughout by David Wyatt, who has worked on many beautiful covers for authors including Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Diana Wynne-Jones, Alan Garner and JRR Tolkien. He lives in an ancient house in a graveyard in Devon, and is a keen lutist, cyclist and wanderer of the moors.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By LeMarchand on 16 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Reeves' latest is an hilarious pastiche of the "Boys' Own Adventure" school of writing. Young Art Mumby and his frightful sister Myrtle live in a strange house in space called "Larklight" in a wittily-observed steampunk world where Her Majesty's Glorious Empire rules the Aether. When their home is attacked by space-spiders, they begin an adventure that takes them across the solar system.

Every aspect of the book is spot on: the tale is told both by Art and (via her diaries) Myrtle, and they both "sound" like Victorian children; the line illustrations are evocative; even the "advertisements" decorating the inside covers look authentic, but have a sly humour.

As someone who is considerably older (to say the least!) than what would seem to be the target audience, I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of the book's humour and in-jokes (including a laugh-out-loud steal from HG Wells) will go over the heads of many youngsters, but the book would still work as a rip-roaring read. I'd also suspect that children who are prepared to try somethin a bit different would be best suited to reading the novel, as the linguistic flourishes may deter less able readers.

My recommendation: buy a copy for your young 'un and then read it yourself!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B Clarke on 14 Nov. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Set in a fantastical past which is so different from ours and using intensely stuffy last language I really didn't think this book would be for me. Then I read it...and read it...and read it! Hard to put down, hard not to like! It takes you on a roller coaster through amazing worlds with fantastic imagery and creatures. The drawings are excellent and a must for any imaginative child. The language is a little off-putting but you get used to it as the story grips you!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on 8 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I love this book, and return to it again and again, especially when I fancy a bit of reading that is light enough to read when laid up with a particularly nasty virus, yet funny enough to receive instant praise from any friends you lend/give it to.

I first read it as a copy I had got out from the local library (having read all the stocked titles by authors I knew, I went round randomly plucking interesting-looking books off the shelves) and I loved it so much I finished it in one day, went to the library to order in the next title and - when I had the money - bought it. It remains one of the most well-thumbed books I own.

Some people describe the pseudo-Victorian language as off-putting, but I found it entertaining and the perfect match for the story itself. Reeve shows wit and humour in many of the things young Art Mumby says, but the unfamiliar style is still simple enough for it not to confuse the story.
The great thing about this book is that it can be enjoyed by younger readers (I spent a couple of weeks reading, as a bedtime story, this book to my seven-year-old younger sister, and she thoroughly enjoyed it), who, although they probably won't get all the jokes will certainly enjoy the exciting plotline. Older readers (my parents have commandeered the book on several occasions) will also love it, plus have a full appreciation of Philip Reeve's amusing references to other texts/events.

The Victorian-esque space-world the author has created is almost the perfect fantasy universe; it is easy to imagine yourself herding hoverhogs in the zero-gravity corridors of Larklight, or fleeing in terror from a giant spider on Venus.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Francis on 15 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
What an amazing imagination Mr Reeves has.
Possitively oozing charm. This is the very first book of Reeves that i have read and i must say i am blown away.
A glorious story full of adventure, written so wonderfully i had to fight against my own arm to put it down.
A story that adults and children will absolutely love.

I`m off to the bookshop now to get the other titles ive missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tevis Fen-Kortiay on 18 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
After some initial resistance, I have fallen quite under the spell of Reeve & Wyatt's enchanting Larklight trilogy. Quibbling brother-and-sister heroes are appealing and the story gets the job done (think 'Disney pirate film for kids'), but the crown jewel of these books is the rich, breathtakingly-inventive world-building: alchemical aether-engines, a cyclone of Mothras hurtling toward Earth at warp-speed, a god-like being carving his hall of fluted columns into the clouds of Jupiter...

David Wyatt's illustrations are plentiful and gorgeous; they amount to a visual catalog of every standard motif from the steampunk canon (always with an extra twist).

The story is stuffed with references only older readers are likely to notice: allusions to and slyly-buried quotations from H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes, Frank Herbert's Dune books, Star Trek (including a grumbling Scottish ship's engineer), Star Wars (there is offhand mention of a 'Death Star'), Peter Pan and even E.R. Burroughs' 'John Carter of Mars' series (one character is literally referred to as The Warlord of Mars and another was once A Princess of Mars). Less obvious sources might include Perelandra, Treasure Planet and Doctor Who.
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