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Arbrook Huxley & the Star-Crossed Lovers (A Celestial Isles Story)

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Arbrook Huxley, an important luncheon at the Ladies’ Club, and an unfortunate mix-up with a magician’s hat… what could possibly go wrong?

A free novelette set in The Celestial Isles universe!
Published 2018
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K.T. Ivanrest
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness. In answer to the blurb's "What could possibly go wrong?" the answer is, of course, "What *cant* go wrong?" This hilarious story follows showman Huxley's attempts to secure financial support from Agatha Pleasant's aunt--and Agatha's misguided attempts to secure Huxley. The worldbuilding was unique and cleverly conveyed, the characters were fun, and I loved the overlapping story/star-saga narratives. (If Reeder ever decides to actually write the star sagas, I will totally read them ...more
Katelyn Buxton
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Arbrook Huxley and the Star-Crossed Lovers is a hilarious, witty, absurd steampunk adventure, filled with vibrant, likeable characters that fall into unfortunately awkward circumstances. I don’t remember the last time I was so close to laughing out loud—repeatedly—while reading a book. Reeder’s dry sense of humor is reminiscent of Dickens’s, but with a modern twist, and none of his rambling. :P

Agatha Pleasant: I loved this girl. She reminded me a lot of Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey. S
This novelette is one of the most delightful things I've read in a long time. For one thing, it's a brilliantly-written piece of short fiction. Reeder has a unique, cinematic skill for fitting all the pieces of a story together in a way that flows perfectly and never loses the reader's interest. Also, the steampunk world of The Celestial Isles series is breathtaking – a Discworld-like, geocentric realm of flat, "island" planets and mysterious stars unlike anything in our universe. (The in-univer ...more
Deborah O'Carroll
I don't have time to reread The Electrical Menagerie right now but I NEEDED SOME HUXLEY so I re-read this aloud to my younger siblings. XD So. funny. Carthage and Huxley are the best, and these shenanigans! XD (Novelette, available free on the author's newsletter.)
Amelia Nichole Defield
I was complaining to my friends after finishing The Electrical Menagerie that I wasn't ready to leave this book world and start reading another book. Lo and behold, there was a link at the end of the book for a short story. Delightfully funny and well written, this short story is a perfect dessert after the amazing Electrical Menagerie.
E.B. Dawson
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie-authors
Super fun, imaginative story! Watching Huxley navigate a stuffy social situation, with the odds against him in the form of mischievous inventions-gone-wrong, was hilarious.

Go pick it up now!
Elizabeth Rawls
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a delightful and entertaining read! The humor had my laughing, and makes me intrigued to read the full novel of the world this side story was spun from.
Shannon Hiner
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a thoroughly enjoyable, hilarious introduction to the Celestial Isles! I am ready for more Arbrook Huxley, that's for sure!

I identified strongly with Agatha, her love for escapism through books and the thrill of a good romance. I think by the end of this short story she was far more grown up than I am currently prepared to be.

However, Huxley and Carthage seem to be just my type of rapscallion magicians, and I cannot wait to read more of their adventures.
Meghan T
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novelette is a thoroughly delightful romp in an old timey steampunk melodrama. It introduces the reader to the world of Celestial Isles, where Reeder’s upcoming novel is set.

The players:

Harbrook Huxley, the dashing but fumbling manager of an electrical menagerie (steampunk circus), who goes to luncheon with a young lady and her auntie in hopes of winning the auntie’s money.

The young lady, by name of Agatha Pleasant, who desires something more interesting than her quiet, provincial life. Ma
Shannon Rasche
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun little excursion into the steampunk world of Arbrook Huxley. Poor Huxley got in over his head thanks to an invention created by his business partner, and the results are quite comical. I anxiously await the release of the full novel in this world, The Electrical Menagerie.
Sarah Sawyer
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I can’t remember a book that made me laugh so hard! Yet it was also wrapped with life lessons in the laughs.

I absolutely loved all of the characters and their perfectly timed imperfections, flaws, and wisdom in the end.

Can’t wait for the next story!
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This short story is a fun read which is at times both incredibly sad (the image of Agatha hiding on the back step, reading stories and dreaming of being loved) and laugh-out-loud funny! I've not read any of the other information released from the series, so some of the more specific details (such as planets, travel etc) didn't mean anything to me, but this didn't make any difference to my enjoyment of the story. And I'm definitely interested in reading more stories in the series after reading th ...more
Teresa Ershbock
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To me, a great story is one that draws you in from the first few words. One where you aren't just reading about the characters but seeing them in your minds' eye and living their story right along with them...and that's what happened to me with Arbrook Huxley & the Star-Crossed Lovers.

When they were having lunch at the Ladies Club, I felt what Arbrook felt and could see the mayhem the doves were causing just as clearly as if I were sitting at the table next to him. I was laughing and cringin
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was such a wonderfully silly and enchanting novelette. I haven't read "The Electrical Menagerie" yet, but you don't really need to in order to read and understand this.
Arbrook Huxley goes to a ladies luncheon in hopes of gaining financial support from a rich lady and her niece Agatha. And stuff goes wrong. In hilarious ways.
In a way, Agatha reminded me of Catherine from Northanger Abbey. Obsessed with books and a tad naive. Gerard was a noble, if rather dull, friend and I felt so bad for p
C.O. Bonham
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a short steampunk situational comedy.
I absolutely adored it.

Arbrook Huxley is an entertainer looking to fund his latest show.

Agatha Pleasant is a bored young woman with an overbearing aunt and a lust for romance. Oh yeah she also has an annoying sutor.

Will they be the answer to each other's problems? Or will the stars misalign when these two cross paths?

After reading this I am even more excited food the full length novel The Electrical Menagerie.
Grace T
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This. Was. Amazing. The world, the characters, the multiplying doves and the serial story about stellar romances. Poor, poor Huxley--I felt so bad for him. But it was also hilarious. Great story.

Doggone it now I want to read Electrical Menagerie even more.
David Justiss
Somehow the style of humor in this short story reminds me of the Marx Bros. (though there's no one in the story who acts like any of the Marx Bros.) I love it.
Savannah Jezowski
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Snarky and sweet! There are some truly laugh-worthy bits in this short story. Definitely will be reading more by this author.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
HUXLEY! 💙 This novelette is adorable, hilarious, and a perfect companion to The Celestial Isles series. I need more of Carthage and Huxley in my life! 😂
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Mollie’s first job was with a major theme park, where she operated a roller coaster, fixed parade floats, and helped Scooby-Doo put on his head. Now, Mollie is a movie producer and the author of character-driven science fiction/fantasy novels for adults who never outgrew imagination. Her favorite things include Jesus, dinosaurs, and telling cinematic stories that blend glitter and grit.