Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space by Philip Reeve

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is one of those books that begs to be read aloud for the sheer pleasure of sharing Reeve’s combination of science fiction and Victorian values. Imagine if the British Empire, at its height, had reached as far as Mars. Imagine convicts sent to the moon instead of Australia. Imagine fantastical creatures like giant spiders, space whales, and hover hogs (they help clean up the crumbs in zero gravity). Imagine space ships that look like part of the Royal Navy. Imagine a house just past the moon, housing two Victorian children who are about embark on an unexpected adventure, meeting space pirates, exploring the solar system and saving the British Empire.

It’s a laugh a minute, with plenty of adventures and pluck and narrow escapes, told mostly from the perspective of Art, but with occasional excerpts stolen from the secret diary of his older sister. I’m not sure how this would go over with fans of more strict science fiction, but it’s a hoot for anyone who enjoys bizarre blends of genres. Oh, and the frequent illustrations are great for visualizing Reeve’s imagined creatures.

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