Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Reeve, Philip. 2007. Starcross: A Stirring Adventure of Spies, Time Travel, and Curious Hats. "Decorated Throughout" by David Wyatt.

Starcross is the sequel to 2006's Larklight: Or the Revenge of the White Spiders!: Or To Saturn’s Rings and Back!: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Furthest Reaches of Space. While I found the first book fun and silly, I also was just lukewarm about it. I neither loved it nor hated it. I saw the appeal, but didn't share in it exactly. With the second book, Starcross, everything has changed. I loved it. I mean I LOVED it. Still silly? Yes! Still fun? Yes! Still requires the suspension of disbelief? Of course! Maybe it is because I knew what to expect. Maybe the Moobs just make for a more exciting enemy than the space spiders. Who knows. I just know that I can't recommend this one highly enough!!!

Chapter One:
What a fuss! What storms of dust! What cannonades of hammering and what snarling of wood-saws! What quantities of sawdust and shavings heaping up upon the stairs and filling the very air, making the poor hoverhogs sneeze and cough! What endless, topsy-turvy rearrangements of the household furniture! What confusion! In short, we had the decorators in. Larklight, our dear old huse, which has hung in its lonely orbit north of the Moon for goodness knows how long, gathering space dust and barnacles and generally declining into a picturesque decay, was being renovated from top to bottom.
Our two narrators are Art (Arthur) Mumby and his sister Myrtle. The year is 1851. The plot of this one starts off simple--though as readers we know this cannot last long--the Mumby family is going to vacation--they've just received a special invite in the mail--at Starcross a "Resort" hotel "fitted with the very latest Scientific Furnishings, and staffed exclusively by the most tactful auto-servants. Offering, in addition, fine views, healthful air, & the best opportunities for sea bathing in the Solar System." Mom and the two kids will arrive first, Dad will be along after his business is finished.

At Starcross they meet a few new characters, and bump into a few of their old friends. Most notably Jack Havock who is going by the name the Honourable Ignatius Flint these days. (The rest of the crew of the Sophronia is about as well.) Their hotel is most mysterious, and it doesn't take them many days to figure out that something is wrong--very oddly wrong--about the hotel and its guests.

I loved this book. Loved the plot--the twists and turns. Loved the language. Loved the characters. Loved everything about it really.

Definitely recommended.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Anonymous said...

I've not read his this one or Larklight, but I did really enjoy his Mortal Engines series and Here Lies Arthur, so I can recommend giving them them ago if you fancy a bit of his more "serious" work.

Debi said...

Love these back-to-back reviews here...I've got both of the first books (Larklight and The Mysterious Benedict Society) in my hopefully very soon pile. My daughter loved, loved, loved Larklight...glad to hear Starcross doesn't disappoint!