Angelsouth's Reviews > Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space

Larklight by Philip Reeve
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Feb 02, 10

bookshelves: 2010-book-list, fantasy, adventure, sf, steampunk
Read in February, 2010

I must have read this series a dozen or more times. Utterly captivating and imaginative. Admittedly, Reeve's casual use of the imperial adventure tropes made popular by H. Rider Haggard and Rudyard Kipling is troubling. For an adult reader, it is easy to attribute a layer of irony to Art's blind patriotism but I suspect that those lines are more easily blurred for the target audience. However, it is true that foregrounding such tropes does make them easy to discuss and easier to debunk, unlike the covert imperialism that underpins much 20th and 21st century children's literature as a strong subtextual theme. To be fair to Reeve, there is a significant amount of subversion of the imperial genre, especially in the representation of the female characters. Reeve is remarkably clever here as he subverts through apparent conformation.

I highly recommend "Larklight" and it may well become one of my favourite books. The characters are hugely sympathetic and charming and the world is well thoughtout and coherent.
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