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The Boy Who Flew

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  251 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Athan Wilde dreams of flight. When his friend, Mr Chen, is murdered, Athan must rescue the flying machine they were building together and stop it falling into the wrong hands. But keeping the machine safe puts his family in terrible danger. What will Athan choose – flight or family?

From the acclaimed author of Murder In Midwinter, Fleur Hitchcock’s The Boy Who Flew is a th
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by Nosy Crow
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  251 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm also a book blogger: Vee_Bookish

I almost hit a reading slump with this one. The Boy Who Flew promises to be an action filled, roof top jumping, murder mystery caper but what we actually get is a poor attempt at being a children's Charles Dickens and not much of anything happening.

I wasn't a fan of the way women were portrayed in this book. More than one was given a basic 'crazy' stereotype, with Athan's Grandmother yelling about how his disabled sister was a changeling, scorned lovers and th
A cover like that will grab my attention every time, without fail. Unfortunately, this story didn't grab me in quite the same way as it's beautiful cover art and took me quite a while to get into, especially for such a short book.

Athan is from a poor family who run a dressmaking/tailoring shop in Georgian Bath. He's an adventurous boy with a love of tall stories, dashing over rooftops with his friend Tod, and learning about science and the brilliantly curious inventions of his boss, Mr Chen. Tog
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quirky, chilling and atmospheric, ‘The Boy Who Flew’ is a brand new offering from Fleur Hitchcock, author of the popular Murder in Midwinter. This is a gem of a story - with its roller-coaster adventure plot that will have readers gripped from start to finish and wide-eyed with curiosity to the very last page.

Athan Wilde befriends an inventor called Mr Chen, who shares with Athan his madcap ideas for flying machines. Athan has always dreamed of being able to fly and now, with a competition to b
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really, really enjoyed this story. There was something slightly magical about it (even though it's absolutely nothing to do with magic). Very atmospheric. It should appeal to boys and girls. 4.5 stars :) ...more
Athan's mum and grandma are awful and just so stupid! It's so hard to have any sympathy for them and that made it difficult to really enjoy the book. ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful. When flying machines were still just a thought in the minds of inventors, is there a chance for a poor apprentice? Then when a reward is offered for flying in a machine, things get dangerous. Someone is doing whatever they can to get the plans or find the parts, even if it means eliminating Mr Chen, the inventor and anyone close to him.
Athan finds that what he knows puts his family and friends at risk. The enemies will try everything in the book...kidnapping, betrayal, turn
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The world building in this book is great and it was amazing at pulling you in to this time period and it’s hard to come back out.
AJ Hurst
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a new type of review as it is not of the physical book but of the audio book. Joe Jameson is the perfect reader for Fleur Hitchcock’s wonderful book all about the adventures of its lead character, Athan Wilde. Actually his reading was so compelling that I found myself walking probably an extra couple of miles to hear what happened next! I always think the key ingredient for a brilliant middle grade novel is that it simply doesn’t stop! Not one empty word or quiet moment, just a constant ...more
WhatBookNext .com
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Athan Wilde enjoys his work with Mr Chen, his neighbour and employer. Mr Chen is an inventor, using the new concept of science to build things – his ultimate project, a flying machine. Athan leaves work every day, thrilled with ideas and future projects, and their daily experiments. But one terrible night, Mr Chen is murdered.

The vultures circle quickly, the auctioneers soon clearing the house of its Eastern treasures. Athan is distraught at the loss of his mentor, then desperate to save the che
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
In her first foray into the fantasy genre, Fleur Hitchcock tells the story of a boy named Athan Wilde, who must protect the revolutionary flying machine that he and his mentor Mr Chen built together when the latter is murdered by people who will stop at nothing to get it. I must admit I had quite a tricky time getting into the story, but as I got further in it really started to pique my interest, and by the end I was absolutely gripped- and this was especially true when I reached the thrilling c ...more
Mary Judy
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rippling with drama and suspense, this is a fast-paced murder-mystery that will hold the reader in its' grip right through to the very end. The characters are sublime. Athans' drive and cleverness shines through the action. His dedication to his friends and family are palpable, particularly his best-friend Tod and his disabled little sister Beatty. With a mother struggling to keep a roof over their heads, an over-worked and reliable older sister, Polly and a grandmother who is filled with supers ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
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Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.R. Hetherington
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable read for junior aged/middle grade children. A young boy has to make tough choices when his mentor Mr Chen is murdered. Athan steels his nerves and pits his wits against foes who would try to cheat him out of plans to complete the build of an early flying machine – much money is at stake which could turn Athan’s family fortunes around. Tense moments and gorgeous characters, twists and turns make this such a great read. Easy to pick up and go. I would have loved even more detail i ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg, audio
The Boy who Flew is a fast-paced, gritty adventure with science, murder and mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed following the intrepid protagonist, Athan, and his sisters and friends as they try to escape horrible villains and protect the flying machine. The setting in Bath is Dickensian and so well described I felt like I was on the rooftops myself, experiencing every twist and turn of the thrilling climax with the characters.
Christina Reid
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first book by this author that I have read and I was attracted by the steampunk sound of the summary. The story rattles along at a terrific pace which builds tension and there are some genuinely scary and dark moments. Unfortunately, the quick pace also meant that it took me a while to get into the story and felt a bit emotionally disconnected from some events that probably should have been more affecting.
Recommended for 9+readers who enjoy an adventure!
3.5 stars
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This darkly plotted mystery has a s many twists and turns as the Georgian alleys of Bath and presents a grimy, squalid view of a city that many of us only see in its tourist-attracting glory.

My full review can be viewed here: http://vsviewfromthebookshelves.home....
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I really enjoyed this quick paced historical adventure. MC Athan has to protect the memory of someone he trusted against someone really terrible, but in doing that he ends up putting his family at risk. Some great characters (I’m particularly fond of Beatty) and some lovely atmospheric writing.
S P Pitchfork
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure at the start but from about 1/3 of the way through it totally gripped me and I have just stayed up late to get to the end! Fabulous crime story for younger readers. A bit gritty in places so be careful with suggesting it to more sensitive souls. This was my first Fleur Hitchcock story and I am now looking forward to investigating her others! ...more
Kirsten Fraser
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
A cracking adventure story with added themes of family and friendship. When Athan's friend and mentor is murdered, he sets out to achieve his last ambition - to fly. He doesn't realise how dangerous his rivals for flight will be. ...more
Gareth Baker
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
More a murder mystery and a story about a boy that flies. Slighly disappointing in that respect, but a good story.
Paula Hale
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant story and as alway an air of mystery. Fleur hitchcock has a way of drawing you in until you finish every last page. She is one of the best writers for young people, I feel.
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I am a bit devastated to be honest. What a fine, gripping story.
Victoria Jane
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this is middle grade adventure at its very best! It’s fast paced, beautifully written and full of heart. I adored it.
I _teach_muggles
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Having previously read Fleur Hitchcock’s award winning Murder in Midwinter I had high expectations for another fast-paced thriller full of drama. I am pleased to say that she has delivered again. The Boy Who Flew is a cracking suspense-filled read full of mystery, murder and a flying machine that will leave you on tenterhooks right until the last word.

This is a cracking underdog story that explores the determination and risk-taking necessary in not giving up on one’s dreams. The story teaches us
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I was a bit disapppointed by this book. I had been really excited as it seemed like a story which would be start to finish fun but it was actually really bleak, with only the end taking an up turn. I was a little bored by the characters, uninspired by the chase by a load of down-right mean characters and annoyed at the lack of explanation in a lot of areas. The setting was nice, but otherwise I wouldn't read it again. ...more
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
From the very beginning, I wasn’t gripped by the story. It was very strange and I don’t think the whole parallel universe theme really worked. Although, by the middle of the book I was quite enjoying it although I don’t the characters were very good because they were very samey and didn’t really have any depth in their personality. All in all, I didn’t think this book was particularly good but I did quite like reading it.
Jade Louise
I came away feeling a little conflicted regarding my thoughts on this book; whilst I did enjoy it as a book, it didn't entirely read as a MG book to me (although, it didn't read as a YA either)... It was quite dark in places, and whilst I've read dark middle grade books in the past, scenes of child abuse as depicted here just did not sit right with me in a middle grade book. ...more
Teri B
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that you can fly through, and yet it touches down on so many topics in this historical fiction setting.

There is blood and gore and death in this book but there is also beautiful sibling relationship and friendship that comes into the story. And there is the story about dreams and longing and moving forward making them real irrespective of where your life starts in society.
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