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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendiferous Pastiche
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...
Published on 16 Mar 2007 by LeMarchand

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars okay read
Being a massive fan of reeves I've slowly started working through his entire catalogue. Although this book again has moments of genius it left me feeling a bit disappointed in several places. The story was good if not a bit rushed in some areas. It could appeal more to a much younger audience than the shameless adult reader I am. Perhaps this Is what I was missing. I felt...
Published 5 months ago by M. Mckellar


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendiferous Pastiche, 16 Mar 2007
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
5.0 out of 5 stars An old fashioned science fiction, 14 Nov 2006
By 
B Clarke (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Larklight - Reviewed by someone who's read it 14 times., 8 Jan 2009
A Kid's Review
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. That is one of the great things about Reeve's work, it mixes the fantasy and the reality, and what our experience can't draw on is splendidly illustrated by David Wyatt. 'Illustrated throughout' it certainly is, and the illustrations are excellent.

I've waffled on for long enough now. My advice? BUY IT! BUY IT NOW!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely outstanding, 15 Aug 2007
By 
D. Francis "viapurico" (Kent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Larklight (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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 30 Nov 2006
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
When eleven-year-old Art Mumby finds out that a visitor is arriving at his run-down home, Larklight, which floats in space beyond the moon, he hardly expects to be thrust into a frightening adventure of pirates, plates, and a millenium-long conflict upon which the fate of the solar system rests. He tells the story of this adventure in LARKLIGHT (occasionally giving his older sister, Myrtle, a chance to narrate via her diary), and the story is nothing if not fantastic.

Philip Reeve (author of the HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES) has created another fascinating world in LARKLIGHT. Art lives in the Victorian society of the 1800's--or rather, what Victorian society would have looked like if they'd developed space travel, and astronomy worked according to early speculations about aether (an air-like substance in space that people can move and breathe in), and interplanetary beings (Venus, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter are all home to a variety of life forms). Reeve cuts no corners, painting the cities and citizens of the solar system in dazzling detail. The setting is a gorgeous mix of fantasy and science fiction, and fans of both genres will find much to enjoy.

If the world wasn't exciting enough on its own, the adventure is of the edge-of-your-seat variety. Art and Myrtle tumble from one tense situation to another with alarming frequency. Most chapters end on cliffhangers, so be prepared to have trouble finding a place to pause. Reeve throws in enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing right until the end, and both Art and Myrtle get the chance to play hero.

Art, as the main character, is not yet a teen himself, so teens may find his narration a little immature for their liking. If they're willing to give him a chance, though, they will discover that LARKLIGHT is a fast-paced, imaginative journey well worth taking.

Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking invention, charming images, ending borrowed from Wild Wild West, 18 Oct 2012
This review is from: Larklight (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.

My one quibble with these stories is the climax of book one, which is copied almost point-for-point from Hollywood's only recent big-budget steampunk film, Wild Wild West (1999), released only 7 years earlier (spoilers):

* Villains use spider motif/villains are spiders.

* Villains rampage through Victorian town/city in a giant godzilla-sized steampunk mechanical spider, destroying buildings and killing people.

* Villains attempt to kill the President of the United States/the Queen of England with giant spider.

* Villains are defeated by a reckless, 'russet-skinned,' gun-slinging young man who is a member of the Secret Service (James West/Jack Havock), and his friends, including one character as prissy as the gun-slinger is uncouth (Artemus Gordon/Myrtle Mumby), which creates the main source of comedy relief throughout the story.

George Harrison once famously committed 'unconscious plagiarism,' copying He's So Fine as performed by the Chiffons almost note-for-note with his song My Sweet Lord. Reeves is so carefully original in these stories I would guess the same thing has happened here -- he saw 'Wild Wild West,' forgot about it, and then copied the ending almost exactly without remembering where that set of ideas came from. I wish someone from Reeve's life -- some friend or agent or publisher -- had noticed the connection in time for Reeves to tweak it into something more original before publication. These books are among my all-time favorite stories for kids (I am likely to buy copies for every neice and nephew), but the Wild Wild West ending mars the first book with a frustrating (if minor) blemish.

Despite my grousing, these stories are wonderful. Read them!
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5.0 out of 5 stars another good'un from mr reeve, 9 April 2009
By 
Simon A. Wright "simonandsuewright" (manchester;england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Larklight (Paperback)
i first came across this author when he wrote the excellent traction city books.This series is very different but just as enjoyable.The scientific basis for his stories are palpable nonsense,but there's enough connexion with history to anchor it down a little eg Richard Burton figures as an explorer.
Whilst these might be meant for children they're good for adults as well.Certainly all my 4 children(aged 14==>8) and myself(a very young 46)have equally enjoyed all three.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Boys' own style steam punk adventure, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: Larklight (Paperback)
I love this story! Very cleverly written & doesn't fit it with the standard adventure books for boys - good for a change.
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3.0 out of 5 stars okay read, 28 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Larklight (Kindle Edition)
Being a massive fan of reeves I've slowly started working through his entire catalogue. Although this book again has moments of genius it left me feeling a bit disappointed in several places. The story was good if not a bit rushed in some areas. It could appeal more to a much younger audience than the shameless adult reader I am. Perhaps this Is what I was missing. I felt it was an attempt at a mortal engines for the early teens. Maybe it just wasn't for me, but not his best work on my list. Nothing on the masterpiece of his mortal engines quartet!
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4.0 out of 5 stars well written, 21 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Larklight (Paperback)
A good book for late teen or adult. Well written and moorish, read one and you're hooked.It is fantasy but you want to read more
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