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


Bart's Bookshelf 1:05 PM  

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 7:46 AM  

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!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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