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The Night Watchman Express

(The Crown Phoenix #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  56 reviews
An underground factory, a terrifying laboratory, and the eerie whistle of the Night Watchman Express…

Miriam has only her guardians' son for company, and she and Simon dislike each other from the start. But they must find a way to trust each other, or they will end up on the sinister Night Watchman Express.

Full of danger, suspense, betrayal, and a hint of romance, this stea
Paperback, 279 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Fantasy Island Book Publishing (first published February 28th 2011)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  151 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Donna (BLHmistress)
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I accepted this request because I found the blurb to Night Watchman Express very interesting . Now I am glad I did. I enjoyed every part of this book. The characters were a pure joy to read. I felt myself cheering for Miriam and wanting to smack her new guardians for their treatment of her.

Miriam, who's father died finds out she had new guardians. I honestly don't blame her for her behavior with these two. Mainly Theo, the 'aunt'. If I had to deal with someone like her I would behave badly as we
Catherine Stine
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: tweens, teens, fans of Victorian adventure, steampunk
Miriam's comfortable world is thrown into chaos when her father dies and his so-called business partners, Virgil and Theodosia Marchpane move in and start to take over the mansion. They've brought along their spoiled son, Simon, and his friend of more modest means, Neil. Upon the horrid realization that Theodosia is intent on moving Miriam up to the attic and installing Simon in her room, is not going down without a fight. She throws things, she curses, and is relegated to her room for days with ...more
The book follows Marian after her father has died and new guardians take over her home and her fathers business. They are some shady characters and Marian is out to figure out what is going on. Two other main characters are introduced fairly early, Simon the son of the guardians and Neil his poor friend. All great characters and I liked the story, but I was a bit disappointed with the second half of the book because while it had been following the young girl during the transition of new guardian ...more
Ceri Clark
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Night Watchman Express kept me interested throughout the book. This is the book that doubters of Indie publishing should read, it shows that there are Indie books which can be and are of a high quality. In fact better than some main stream books I've read!

What is it about? Well it's a historical fantasy but not the sword and sorcery variety. It is what I would call more of a realistic fantasy.

The main character is an heiress whose life is turned upside down when her guardians come to stay.
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I got this book in the giveaway through Goodreads First Reads. I was not obligated nor paid to write a review. The author signed it and sent a matching bookmark along with the book, which was very nice!

I absolutely loved the story. It is unique in every way, which is incredibly hard to find nowadays. There is an ongoing suspense throughout the book that keeps you interested, and the world and concepts built are very well done.

I was not crazy about the characters. A lot of the main characters act
Enrico Antiporda
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The fast pacing of this book is immediately apparent in the opening chapters. Miriam, a young girl from a wealthy family, is orphaned when her industrialist father dies. Enter the Marchpanes, her assigned guardian and business partner of Miriam's father. The Marchpanes, under the firm control of the vicious and witchy Mrs. Marchpane, move into the mansion and immediately set out to gain control of the family money and company. They get rid of Miriam by putting her in the Night Watchman Express, ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A delightful story. I must say I was wondering how I would enjoy this book. Being friends with Alison I thought I had better like this book or else I don't know what I'll do. What a pleasure to find that I not only enjoyed it but loved it.

This story while it has a very unique mystery is character driven. The focus being Miriam in the first half and Neil a minor character initially becomes the focus in part two. The children are the central focus of the book while it's quite obvious the adults ar
Kate Danley
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Delicious and rich... it reminds me of the classic children's books I used to mow through and still keep on my shelf for a comfort read (Secret Garden and The Mysterious Island come to mind). High adventure! Peril! If you need some steampunk in your life and are looking for a little Jules Verne or Jack London flavor, you'll really enjoy this book.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk

Worth every minute of the wait!!
Cora Tea Party Princess
I received a copy of this for free via Goodreads First Reads.
Karielle at Books à la Mode
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog
The Night Watchman Express (The Crown Phoenix #1) by Alison DeLuca

Page Count: 291
Release Date: 3 October 2012
Publisher: Myrddin Publishing Group
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review as part of the The Crown Phoenix Virtual Book Tour

Review: This is the first steampunk novel I've tried that's targeted for younger readers, and after reading, I can confidently say I love the flourishing, industrializing backdrop set to Edwardian England in The Ni
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Firstly, what the heck with that cover? The ghostly, deathly look of the cover is a bit misleading as to what the story is actually about.

This e-book has a part one and a part two. The first part chronicles Miriam, experiencing the death of her Father (they weren't that close) and his business partner, along with his wife, their son, and son's friend moving into the mansion.

The couple are caricature's of evil, shallow and selfish. Though things change a bit, when they find Miriam too much of a
D.M. Dutcher
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, steampunk
I would have loved to give this book a higher review. It does so much right, yet so much wrong.

Miriam's father and mother have passed away. Unfortunately, she now has to deal with two guardians, who have designs on control of her father's Company. Thankfully their son Simon and his friend Neil are decent people, and soon an exotic and mysterious governess named Mana has come. There is a deep mystery going on, and can the four of them fight what seems to be a conspiracy surrounding Mana's home an
Eoghann Irving
I want to like this book more than I actually did. There are a lot of things I love about it, but the structure is frustrating.

The initial setting, a quasi-Victorian manor in an unspecified location with an orphan girl, mysterious nanny and horrible guardians is wonderful. The setting is vividly realized and the characters immediately captured my interest. Admittedly not a lot actually happens, it's almost all set up, but it kept my interest the entire time.

The second half is rather abrupt chang
Ever since my first taste of Steampunk which have to give a nod of approval at Kady Kross’s Steampunk Chronicles (The Girl in the Steel Corset, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar) and since then have an interest in any novels bearing Steampunk elements. The Nightwatchman Express when signed up for this Online Book Tour promised to have a stamp of Steampunk as well.

Later once began reading The Night Watchman Express knew with certainty had made a magnificent decision. Alison DeLuca twirls to vibran
Gary Hoover
The Night Watchman Express is a very ambitious story with numerous settings and a large cast, but the author so skillfully guides the reader that it isn't until the end that we look back and say: "Wow! We really went through a lot!"

The rich pallet of main characters are, for the most part, strangers to one another at the onset, so we don't step into a story already in progress, but rather learn the characters and situations as the characters themselves discover what is unfolding. The characters
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca tells the story of Miriam. She is a young girl whose father recently passes away leaving her an orphan under the care of her late father's business partners, the Marchpanes. Unfortunately it seems that the Marchpanes have some kind of sinister plan involving the business her father worked so hard to build. Miriam completely rebels against the newcomers to her home until Mana, the new governess is hired to take care of her. Mana earns Miriams respect an ...more
Kevin Hammond
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love finding a new writer who can tell a story with great imagination and daring, and that is just what we have in this book.
This story revolves around a young girl whose father has died and a shady business partner and his family are awarded guardianship of that girl in the late business owners will. It seems simple enough at that point and you may have read stories like it, but press on as it is just beginning to get interesting at that point. Enter the curious and wonderful character that is
Indie e-books
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An example of how good indie work can be (and for me that means a great story plus beautifully edited). This book was reviewed through the Blog tour – Tour de Troops.


Recently orphaned, left a substantial fortune by her father, but in the care of his unfeeling business partner Mr Marchpane and his wife. Only a few hours hours after they arrive it’s decided that she should be moved out of her room and into the attic to make space for the Marchpane’s son Simon. At first glance this
Carlie Cullen
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I’d never read a Steampunk novel until The Night Watchman Express crossed my path and I wasn’t sure if it would be ‘my thing’, but I’d read a few of the 5-star reviews on Amazon and decided to give it a try.

By the end of the first chapter I was hooked! The characters are larger than life: Miriam, Simon and Neil are loveable and you find yourself really caring about them and the twists and turns in their young lives. Mana is enigmatic yet extremely likeable and the Marchpanes are foul creatures t
The Night Watchman Express was a decently good young adult novel. The cover of the book said that it was a steampunk novel, but I am not sure how. It just seemed like a fantasy novel to me. The book didn’t fully capture my interest at the beginning. However, once the Marchpanes arrived, the book got more interesting. It stayed interesting up until the incident with Mana. The second half of the book was a struggle for me to finish. It normally would have taken me three days to finish it. However, ...more
Cypher Lx
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Night Watchman Express is a wild train ride that spans so far it's almost hard to describe. With the luxurious descriptions of typical Victorian era scenery and exotic tropical islands, DeLuca manages to suspend disbelief when introducing the fantasy elements into this story. Despite the bright cheeriness surrounding most of the characters, there is usually an undertone of darkness that creates a more realistic world. And when the surroundings are gloomy and depressing, sparks of humor are i ...more
Al Boudreau
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Night Watchman Express was my very first YA read, and I have to give Ms. DeLuca high marks for a number of reasons. My schedule seldom allows the luxury of reading for hours on end, so I generally engage in fits and starts. Night Watchman was written so well, it enabled me to pick up where I left off very easily, sometimes after a week or more. This is an important quality for a YA novel to posess, as the attention span of young adults can be limited at times. I found the story line to be wo ...more
Robin Blankenship
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Steampunk is a fairly new to me genre and this series is an awesome plunge in to the genre. There are three book currently in this series. I was able to read the first two books and look forward to the third. I was so glad I already had book two in hand when I finished the first book. DeLuca is a wonderful storyteller and these books are the type that suck you in and you almost feel like you are in the story. Her characters are so believable and they are so well written you begin to care about w ...more
Ross Kitson
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Simply superb.
This book, although written as a YA Steampunk book, is something all ages could enjoy. It's a beautifully written novel following the adventures of three children and a mysterious governess who arrives to look after the orphaned Miriam.
The prose reminded me of traditional adventure stories ( a la Enid Blyton, CS Lewis etc) with an injection of fantasy sci-fi. The characters are rich and well developed, notably the female characters.
It ends on a cliff hanger and I shall be getting
Margaret Hibbard
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book. One of my new favorites. Set in England in the time of the industrial revolution it is a story that focuses on growing up and magic, two of my favorite themes. I love how the characters grow and change as they develop the story. I have to admit, I read all three of the books one right after the other, and so dividing them up is not going to be easy. I look forward to being able to read the next in the series when it comes out.
Shaun Allan
This book was my first foray into steampunk and I was unsure what to expect. I am SO glad I read this! The characters are extremely well written, there's humour and excitement and hints and the wonderful Mana. I thouroughly enjoyed this book and I've been lucky to read the sequel, the Devil's Kitchen which is excellent again!
Omar Gonzalez
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Awesome steam punk story with lots of charm and good flow to it. Personally the only downside is some unoriginal/cliche characters, Specially "evil characters" that follow the convention of "Victorian Era Villain" so diligently they become predictable and cartoon(ish).

Other than that fun book to go trough.
J.J. Lair
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. It had suspense, mystery and mysticism. It took place in an earlier time, but it never felt like I read history. The author wove in history and the fantasy world next to each other and brought out the story. An involving conflict and twist came up constantly. It was easy to stay hooked to this book.
Connie Jasperson
May 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this tale. Maya is the perfect governess and I will she had raised me! I loved the suspense and the darkness, and the way nothing went the way you thought it would. This is a fun book!
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Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books. She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.

Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.

Other books in the series

The Crown Phoenix (4 books)
  • The Devil's Kitchen (Crown Phoenix, #2)
  • Lamplighter's Special (The Crown Phoenix, #3)
  • The South Sea Bubble (Crown Phoenix #4)

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