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The Firebird Mystery (A Jack Mason Adventure, #1)
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The Firebird Mystery

(A Jack Mason Adventure #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Jack Mason has grown up as an acrobat in a circus. Now, after the tragic death of his parents, he must live inside the gloomy walls of Sunnyside Orphanage in London, a city of fog and snow, filled with airships, steam cars and metrotowers that stretch into space.

Luckily for Jack, he’s taken under the wing of the brilliant and eccentric detective Ignatius Doyle. Little does
Paperback, 350 pages
Published February 26th 2014 by Text Publishing Australia (first published July 21st 2011)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  136 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
I'm a little in love with anything Sherlock right now. So when I saw that this was a steampunk Sherlockesque book, I had to grab it.
over the city

We meet the MC, Jack Mason running from bullies in the streets. Ever since his parents died in a tragic acrobatic accident, he has been living the depraved life of an orphanage. He gets the opportunity to live with eccentric detective, Ignatius Doyle of 221 Bee Street.

steampunk city

Soon Jack is swept into adventure, mystery, and life and death matters in Steampunk London: Nazi
A copy of this novel was provided by Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The Firebird Mystery is the perfect middle grade book for a young boy (or girl) who is a fan of Doctor Who, steampunk, and/or Sherlock Holmes. In all reality, if my brother was still 14, and not 24 I would be thrusting this book into his hands. He would have been OBSESSED with Jack Mason.

Even though The Firebird Mystery is quite a long book for such a young audience, I don’t think the reader would actually noti
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
My general reaction to this book:

It was a bit silly, there were a few stylistic things I just wanted to get in there and fix, the protagonist could've had a stronger voice, but YOU KNOW WHAT?

Who cares?

There was Sherlock Holmes (Mr Doyle), living at 221 Bee St, there was feminism, there was steampunk glory, there was modern history, there were mutations, there were bombs, there was action, there were hidden clues, a cool backstory, da Vinci references - *and* there was a mystery (which sadly I
Mime D
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Steampunk, atomic bombs, detectives and some clever Sherlock Holmes references? A recipe for an excellent Middle Grade novel, right? Kind of.

I liked this book. It was clever. It was strong. It was pretty concise, and it had interesting (if seen-it-before) characters. It just wasn't stand-out-from-the-shelf-and-love-it.

I believe that a Middle Grade book should still be kind of fun for teens, too. I read Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins earlier this year and really liked it. It was MG, w
Alysa H.
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
An action-packed adventure tale that doesn't talk down to kids, this is the kind of book that one could give to reluctant boys to get them excited about reading. It's clearly and playfully influenced by Conan Doyle, Verne, Wells, and other late-Victorian writers, but owes as much to Indiana Jones and actually takes place in a re-imagined version of the 1930s and deals with atomic bombs and the outbreak of WWII, and features real life figures such as Churchill as secondary characters.

This is stil
This was a very fast-moving book, but I felt that it actually moved too fast and had too many elements. There are references to Sherlock Holmes, to steam punk elements, to the First World War, to suffragettes, to Nazism and to the development of inventions including the atomic bomb. As an adult, it’s a little exhausting. I also wonder how many child readers would ‘get’ all the references (there were some I vaguely got, but couldn’t explain) and if they’re not accessible to the core readership, a ...more
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great little book - a kids read plus a Melbourne author, who could ask for more.
My son recommended I read this so we could share 'book talk' and it is a fine read. A steampunk children's novel where the main protagonist, Jack, an orphan, gets sent to work for older Detective Ignatius Doyle. And yes, you guessed it, there are lots of Sherlock allusions here, direct quotes and some nice nods that as an adult, you will get but are probably missed by children. Though sometimes the derivati
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finn loved it and I did too.
Text Publishing
‘A fun story, easy to read and full of action. The action, by the way, is excellently written…Bonus points for being the first kids’ book of its kind I’ve come across that gives mention to the suffragettes!’

‘Lots of mechanical mayhem and derring-do—breathless stuff.’
Michael Pryor

‘Non-stop action, non-stop adventure, non-stop fun!’
Richard Harland

‘Set in a fantastical London, filled with airships, steam cars and metrotowers stretching into space, this fast paced adventure and homag
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
What do you get when you combine a consulting detective, an orphaned young acrobat, airships, and a mystery which left unsolved might be the end of the world as we know it? You get The Firebird Mystery, the first novel in a steampunk Sherlock Holmes-esque series featuring Jack Mason.

Jack gets the chance to leave one of the most dreary places in London, Sunnyside Orphanage, to work with Ignatius Doyle – a perceptive detective who has solved some of the world’s most baffling mysteries. Jack hits t
M.M. Hudson
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In the last year I have really started liking the whole steampunk genre and everything about steampunk that goes along with it. That is why when I was introduced to this book, I had to read it.

What makes this book even more fantastic for me is that the book is steampunk meets Sherlock Holmes, although the character is not called Sherlock. In fact, in a fun play on words, the character admits that he is cousin to a famous detective but never mentions who. Although, we readers know!
The book is fil
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without a doubt, this is one of the most action-packed and relentlessly fast paced middle grade book I have ever read. And I have read more than a few.

This is steampunk adventure at breakneck speed, with a 12 year old orphan named Jack becoming an assistant to a consulting detective inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes after having used his acrobatic skills to escape the resident bullies of the orphanage. Escapades, escapes and close calls ensue in rapid fire fashion, with a g
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars
The Firebird Mystery was charming, witty and intelligently written. I haven't read many steampunk novels, but this middle grade addition to the genre was incredibly enchanting and entertaining. The book follows orphan Jack, plucked from a questionable children's home and thrown into the world of crime solving. Mister Doyle has faith in Jack's abilities and provides the emotional stability that Jack desperately needs.

But Mister Doyle is the clear
Apr 26, 2015 rated it liked it
provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you

This one was an enjoyable reading. The setting is good and intersting, the characters are ok, I loved the main character, Jack, and Ignatius Doyle, in particular, and the story is good.
I loved the references to Sherlock Holmes and I'd loved to know more aboute the old investigations of Ignatius (they seem hilarious!).
I have not fallen in love with this one but I enjoy the reading. It was funny and intersting.

Come sempre spero di no
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jack Mason is an orphan. To him, life doesn't seem to have any future for him. That is, until Mr. Doyle takes Jack on as an assistant to him. Mr. Doyle is a rather unusual detective, but is very successful in solving his cases. Jack goes on a baffling case with Mr. Doyle. The case is a young girl looking for her father as he seems to have to disappear. Will they be able to sove the mystery? Somehow the mystery of the father's disappearance may also have to do with a plot that could threaten the ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this because my 9 year old grandson liked it so much. This is a steam punk Sherlock Holmes mashup set in London at the beginning of the twentieth century. Jack Mason is a teenage orphan who misses his circus acrobat parents dreadfully. He is dispatched from the orphanage to take up an apprenticeship with consulting detective Ignatius Doyle. They are soon involved in a rollicking fast paced mystery full of fascinating machines and many historical references. Along the way they pick up Scar ...more
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Loved this fast paced super cool steampunk fiction. I would have adored Jack Mason and Scarlett Bell when I was ten years old and been relieved to know more adventures of these two, (and the Sherlock Holmesesque figure of Ignatius Doyle), were on the way. Full of action, invention and imagination it deserves four stars - I'm taking off one star because I felt there was a little too much exposition at times and I also would have liked the suspenseful moments to be held a little longer. Recommend ...more
Gena DeBardelaben
Jan 22, 2015 rated it liked it
ARC: Netgalley

A steampunk adventure that plays off Sherlock Holmes. The references range from the world famous detective Ignatius Doyle (as in Sir Arthur Conan) down to the Mr. M (Professor Moriarty) nemesis, but with a little H. G. Wells thrown in for good measure (think The Island of Dr. Moreau).

Interesting story, but it seemed a little long for the age bracket it's aimed at. Also, it felt like the story could have used a tighter focus. It had too much going on and too many characters.
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a poorly written attempt at a Sherlock Holmes knock off. Not only was writing poor, but the story-line needs work. I should have put the book down after reading the first chapter, where a fourteen-year-old boy is described doing super human feats (even if he grew up around a circus). I realize this is a work of fiction, but still, some of the story telling is a bit too much. I don’t know if the series gets any better, but I stopped after this book.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was meh. The main character tried to be too funny at times, but the story was ok.
Linda Sands
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!

Such a fun & easy read - I couldn't put it down. Not just a book for kids!

I've started asking myself in my everyday… "What would Jack do in this situation?"

Can we please have Jack Mason, Scarlett Bell & Ignatius Doyle action figures?!

I'm looking forward to the release of Book 2!

Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It was really good. Lots of references to Sherlock Holmes. Can sometimes get a bit hard to follow. Especially when you are reading 50 million books at once but over all GREAT and a ABSOLUTE MUST for mystery fans.
Kerryn Whiteside
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: junior-fiction
Not enjoying this as much as I would like to - the novel has good elements; steam punk mash up is quirky and interesting, characters likeable and plot very busy and engaging. The writing itself though is somewhat wooden with a tendency to exposition (telling) rather than revealing (showing).
Apr 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I wanted to enjoy this, but couldn't get past the first few pages. Poor editing, dangling participles, and way too much telling (vs. showing). I was so distracted by poor writing that I couldn't get into it. (But thank you, Net galley, for the chance to try.) ...more
Adam Wallace
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun read. The action was easily visualised, and I really enjoyed Ignatius Doyle's references back to previous cases. Good one! ...more
May 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Steampunk detective story with a young orphan and a feisty redhead as the main characters. Fun and fast paced
Sharon Albanese
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Past meets future meets present, this book is loads of fun with plenty of twists and turns, great characters and pop culture references. My 12 year old and I both loved it!
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My daughter loved this book. She thought it was funny and exciting and especially love Ignatius Doyle. She can't wait to read more in the series. ...more
Sharon Albanese
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fun adventure full of twists and turns. Probably aimed at young teens, my 12 year old and I both thoroughly enjoyed it!
Mar 19, 2015 marked it as never-finished
I just couldn't get into this book so it's a DNF ...more
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Darrell Pitt is a long-time fan of comics, science-fiction, and anything that would make the 'cool kids' cringe. Seriously, he remembers literally sprinting home from school one day to watch the next episode of Doctor Who because the previous episode ended on a cliffhanger (although, didn't they all?).
He has a lifelong interest in superheroes, monsters, science fiction and anything involving space

Other books in the series

A Jack Mason Adventure (5 books)
  • The Secret Abyss (A Jack Mason Adventure, #2)
  • The Broken Sun (A Jack Mason Adventure, #3)
  • The Monster Within (A Jack Mason Adventure, #4)
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