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The Colonel and the Bee

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  71 reviews
The Amazing Beatrix works as an acrobat in a 19th Century circus, no home or family to speak of. When a daring escape from her abusive ringleader crosses Beatrix's path with that of the daring adventurer Colonel James Bacchus, the unlikely pair team up, fly to safety aboard the Colonel’s miraculous four-story hot air balloon, and begin a grand quest to find the most ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by Evolved Publishing LLC
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Whispering Stories
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Book Reviewed by Clive on

The Colonel and the Bee promised much from the outset with a dramatic cover and our initial introduction to Beatrix. The story is told by her in the first person and I found myself immediately drawn into her character as a talented gymnast with feisty ambitions to make more of her life. The idea of her travelling around the world in such a magnificent machine promised a great deal.

Along the way there were some exciting incidents but generally
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s, audiobooking

This was a thoroughly delightful and creative story. It was short, but packed with mystery, intrigue, humour, and heart. And I love the cover so much!

The massive steampunk hot air balloon, where most of the tale takes place, was really unique (if not very plausible). The Ox was essentially its own floating city, with gardens, a library, countless corridors, and several endearing characters.

From the opening pages, our eccentric crew is hit with one trial after another as they not only
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a great book! I like steampunk anyway, and this story encompassed so much of what I love about reading-- a compelling tale that keeps you turning the pages, and author good with words, adventure, and a mystery. To me, it was reminiscent of The Good Thief, which I also loved, but vaguely, and at the same time a story unique and all its own.

Beatrix (Bee) is a 13 year old acrobat who had run away to the circus from an home where she was unwanted, but the circus proved no better as the
Richard Bunning
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is classic Steampunk genre with a morality tale or two, writ large. The young teenaged, Beatrix, escapes a suitably Dickensian circus to travel the world on a multi-story dirigible, a craft common to so much of the genre.
The adventure, the search for the long-hidden artefact, is entertaining, even though the elements that build the story are somewhat contrived and sometimes less than well knitted together. However, the words themselves are nicely knotted and well cast-off. A ‘Victorian’
Gordon Long
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What is this book like? Well, sort of like Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes teamed up with Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce in a 4-storey high hybrid hot air/helium-filled balloon chasing a pair of feuding underworld families across 19th Century Europe and beyond in search of a fabulous jewel. Lara Croft, steam-punk style.

This is the sort of book that demands creativity, and Canning delivers. Every character is a Character, stretched past stereotype into archetype. Every setting is new and different
Joshua Grant
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I love about Patrick Canning is his focus on odd characters with his world-spanning adventures. In The Colonel and the Bee, we see Beatrix, a down on her luck circus acrobat, team up with explorer James as they travel the world in a hot air balloon racing to get a mysterious treasure Indiana Jones style. It was greatly satisfying to experience this late 1800s adventure, getting to see interesting locales and very memorable characters. It was a little like James and the Giant ...more
Chitra Iyer
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning is an adventure spanning Europe. It has a mix of murder, excitement and treasure hunting. I honestly don’t remember the last time I read a book with such exquisite language delivery. It is not an easy job to address and to generate interest in readers with the vintage language used but the author was more than successful, I must say!

Ok, so without any further ado, let’s get to the review.


Beatrix is an acrobat associated with a travelling circus.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Described by the author as Around the World in 80 Days meets The Wizard of Oz, The Colonel and The Bee is a story, I would deem, worth being remembered as a classic.

Written in the style properly given to it's setting, everything about this novel is quite perfect. It's characters are flawed but we love them despite that; and they make mistakes that alter their courses for the worst, yet we easily forgive them and root for them still.

The Colonel is an eccentric, unpredictable character. He is odd,
Stanley McShane
Hoo-boy is this one a douzy! The novel hit all my buttons: unique, intriguing, adventurous, historical, surprisingly sharp female protagonist coupled with the swash-buckling theatrics of a male co-protagonist, and absolute non-stop riveting action.

Beatrix is a barely teenaged female acrobat in a 19th-century European traveling circus held captive owing her age by an abusive ringleader. The dashing and mysterious English Colonel James Bacchus attends the same private showing where she performs
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: patrick-canning
Adventure awaits the night Beatrix escapes her circus life and joins with Colonel Bacchus. Beatrix is an abused acrobat and when she spies the Colonel in the crowd at a show she's immediately drawn to him, as her luck would have it she runs into him again later that night as she runs away. Reluctantly, the Colonel allows her to accompany him on his trip in a huge hot air balloon to find a missing artifact and more intrigue along the way. Beatrix, now called Bee, is now on the adventure of a ...more
Colin Garrow
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
When a young circus performer escapes her abusive ring-master boss and teams up with a ballooning adventurer, she isn’t at all certain she’s made the right decision. However, the pair set off on the trail of a criminal and the mysteriously named Blue Star Sphinx in a four-storey hot air balloon named the Ox. But Beatrix soon finds they are not just dealing with a thief, but with a killer.

Featuring a fascinating and oddly-matched pair of central characters (The Amazing Beatrix and an The Colonel
Sarah June Eustache
Fiction - Fantasy - Adventure

Thank you to the author, Patrick Canning for sending me a finished copy of the Colonel and the Bee in exchange for an honest review.

This book follows two characters in a hot air balloon house, side note, I think that the front cover of this book is absolutely awesome and helps me imagine the house that floats within the pages of this book.

I loved the descriptions of the air balloon, with three different stories and tons of treasures, it made my imagination go wild.
Jenna | Bookmark Your Thoughts
"If there was one thing to know about the Colonel, it was that his brand of reasoning was peculiar and entirely his own. If there was a second thing to be known, it was that his methods often showed results."

A brilliantly written story full of humor and wit, Patrick Canning's The Colonel and the Bee features an epic "around-the-world" adventure with rather peculiar characters and a grand treasure hunt. After escaping her brutal life in the circus, Beatrix "Bee" becomes part of the Colonel's crew
Rosie Amber
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Colonel And The Bee is a fantasy adventure. It is set during an unnamed historical era of discovery and has some similarities to steampunk.

It opens in Switzerland, with Beatrix who is a thirteen-year-old circus acrobat. One evening she grabs a chance to run away with a mysterious man, whom she saw earlier in the audience.

Colonel Bacchus is an eccentric collector and adventurer, who travels in a hot air balloon known as an Oxford Starladder. It consists of a four storey, wicker-framed home
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Patrick Canning’s The Colonel and the Bee is a fanciful story that spans across countries and continents. Fleeing from her abusive master at the circus, Beatrix follows Colonel James Bacchus as well as an unusual band of characters in the hunt for a wanted criminal and the world’s greatest treasure, the Blue Star Sphinx. But they are not the only ones in search of the precious artifact...

Read my full review at:
Kaili Taghon (Entertainingly Nerdy)
I really enjoyed this book and it definitely made me want to travel more!
S. Daisy
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fictional adventure novel set in the 1800's. Beatrix, known as Bee, is a young girl who ran away to join the circus as an acrobat. Her stubbornness and tenacity is only rivaled by her sharp wit and equally sharp tongue. These traits of hers keep her perpetually at odds with Ziro (her employer), his whip, and his two strange knife-wielding guards. Colonel James Bacchus is an eccentric lady's man and thrill seeker who spends most of his time flying around the world in the building-sized ...more
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Colonel and the Bee is a rip-roaring steampunk adventure in the lines of Adele Blanc-Sec and Thrilling Adventure Hour’s Colonel Tick-Tock. It’s fast and pippy and cavalier.

It can’t be read without ridiculous posh English accents rattling around in the mind.

The characters are all larger than life and frankly they might break out into a Gilbert and Sullivan song at any moment.

Unfortunately, the over exaggerated verbosity of the period makes it hard to follow at times.

It was fun, but there
Alicia Smock
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Is everyone ready for a fun story to read? Is everyone ready for an adventure? Is everyone ready to travel the world without leaving their home? Is everyone ready to throw caution to the wind and just go out and live life? Is everyone a fan of stories like Around The World in 80 Days, Howl’s Moving Castle, Romeo and Juliet, and Treasure Island? Then it is time to pick up and read author Patrick Canning’s newest novel, The Colonel and The Bee.

Beatrix dazzles the crowds with her amazing acrobatic
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Book given by me by the author in return for an honest review.

So, I loved the story, I really did, I just couldn't get over the mistakes that were made, it completely made me DNF the book! For example: there are no mountains near Antwerp and Holland isn't a country at all! I don't mind mistakes, but a quick google search would've helped. I really, really liked the story and I'm really intrigued, but as an European myself, I notice these mistakes and it just bothers me and it made me not enjoy
~ Althea | themoonwholistens ~  ☾
FORMAT READ: Paperback
*Thank you to Patrick Canning for sending me a copy to review*
Gemma Bray
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The adventure genre is not always my cup of tea unless it’s written well, Patrick has definitely done very well with The Colonel and the Bee. He keeps you wanting more from every chapter of the book, I love how he’s taken you on a magical journey to travel the world without leaving your home! He has taken elements and ideas that I love to find and then used his amazing storytelling to mix everything together!

Each character is very different and unique which I love as characters are sometimes
Marion Marchetto
Teen-aged Beatrix is a traveling circus acrobat in the employ of the Machiavellian Ziro. He is abusive toward his star performer but then he is abusive to all his employees. Beatrix (Bee) longs for the day when she can leave the circus and be free of the beatings and abusive language. Of course her smart mouth is what gets her into trouble on most occasions. During what is to be their final performance in Switzerland, Bee spots a peculiar gentleman in the audience. He is wearing a John Bull (top ...more
Ooha Biddala
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beatrix was a circus girl, flying from trapeze to trapeze, in between whippings from her cruel ringleader and escaping from the memories of her past. Into this bleak outlook, walks a man with flowers in his hat and charm on his lips, promising adventure, excitement and most of all, tickling her curiosity in a way it had never been tickled before. Maybe he wasn’t as ready to indulge this curiosity of hers as she was to be indulged, but, as a circus acrobat who had already revealed her scars to ...more
Valicity Garris
The Colonel and the Bee centers on two characters who meet each other by chance at a show and decide to set out on an adventure that could change their lives or take it. Young Beatrix—who is later called Bee—is a circus acrobat who wants to escape her current life when she spies the Colonel in the audience of her show and then again when she is trying to escape. Being the gentleman that he is, the Colonel agrees to let Bee join him on his journey in a giant hot air balloon. Together, along with ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Title: The Colonel and The Bee
Author: Patrick Canning
Genre: Young Adult Action Adventure Fiction
Rating: Five Stars!

Have you ever started a book expecting one thing, but then you get a little ways into it and you suddenly realize that it’s an entirely different thing—but in a completely awesome way? Well that’s exactly what happened to me when I started The Colonel and The Bee. That isn’t to say that the book synopsis isn’t right on point—I mean, it’s a pretty accurate description of the plot,
Jessica | Booked J
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-earc-queue
Blog | Twitter | Instagram

As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way. You can find this review on Booked J here.

Ah! I wasn't sure what to expect from The Colonel and the Bee. The synopsis, naturally, piqued my attention because (a) a steampunk adventure (!!! a reviewer referred to it as, "Lara Croft, steampunk style") and (b) it was pitched as Around the World in Eighty Days meets Wizard of Oz. This
Elizabeth McLennan
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, all opinons are my own.
The first word that came to mind once I finished this book was wow followed by charming. Now wow was because it is such a great adventure story that just keeps giving, the charming was for the characters and the setting.
Even though this is set in a historical setting there is quite a bit of world building. This sets up the world in which our characters live and it starts as soon as you open the book. The
J C Steel
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Colonel and the Bee is a sunny, swashbuckling adventure of giant hot-air balloons, treasure hunting, and international mystery. From the moment that Bee runs away from her old life as The Amazing Beatrix in a travelling circus and encounters the mysterious and infamous Colonel James Bacchus, she finds herself immersed in the new and the strange on every side, from investigating a bona fide murder in the Netherlands to crossing the Sahara in the Colonel's amazing flying home.

It's often easy,
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it

Title: The Colonel and the Bee

Author: Patrick Canning

Genre: Adventure Fiction

4/5 STARS.

This book was quite whimsical to say the least. From the first chapter, I was hooked on this whirlwind adventure filled to the brim with action and mystery. The plot was so captivating, I struggled to put it down! As soon as you would get your heart rate near normal, the next chapter would bring you to the edge of your seat! Strictly from a writing standpoint, Patrick
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