LARKLIGHT or The revenge of the white spiders! or To Saturn's Rings and Back! A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the farthest Reaches of Space as chronicl'd by Art Mumby, with the aid of Philip Reeve

I just adore this book.

My niece told me about the series ages ago, but when I tried to get a copy of it for the library, it was out of print. When I found a copy published by Scholastic, I grabbed it!

I am so glad I did.

Philip Reeve’s creative genius has resulted in a story that is a fabulous example of steampunk. The illustrations by David Wyatt just top it off perfectly.

Any great adventure tale should have intrigue and suspense, battles and chases, and to top it off, romance and humor.

Larklight has it all and more.

Throw in a generous amount of strange mechanical devices and unique creatures from across the universe and nearly any reader who opens the first page will be hooked.

I was. I started reading and couldn’t put the book down.

Arthur and his sister, Myrtle, are an ordinary set of squabbling siblings from Victorian times. What is not so ordinary is that they live on Larklight, a cobbled together house that orbits around the moon.

Their ordinary morning goes awry when Mr. Webster, the visitor they have been expecting, turns out to be a monstrous talking spider wearing a bowler hat. Although they escape, their day goes from bad to worse. They are captured by a gigantic potter moth to feed to its larva, and barely saved by the famous pirate, Captain Jack Havock. They survive an attack by the royal navy, only to be attacked by the spiders again.

The children find themselves in a battle for much more than their own survival: it is a battle to save the entire universe!

Larklight is the first in a trilogy but thankfully; the ending is satisfying just as it is. (I hate books that leave me hanging – that sort of thing is ok with chapters, but not when I get to the finish)

I will buy an extra copy for the library and can’t wait to get my hands on Starcross and Mothstorm.

I suspect the text will be daunting for all but strong readers in an elementary school. It is loaded with Victorian vocabulary and the level on the back of my scholastic edition says the reading level is 8.8. However, because the story itself is suitable for younger readers, it will make a fabulous read aloud!

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