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(Brightstorm #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  959 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm are devastated to learn that their famous explorer father has died in a failed attempt to reach South Polaris, the southernmost point in the world. To make matters worse, the Lontown Geographical Society finds Ernest Brightstorm guilty of sabotaging the expedition of his competitor, Eudora Vane, a respected and powerful member of the Society. ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Norton Young Readers (first published March 1st 2018)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  959 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Jade Ratley
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
100% a new fave!
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Treasure Island was set in the sky (but not in Space aka Treasure Planet), then this would be that book - a thrilling middle grade positively dripping with adventure!

Arthur and Maudie are twins, their father an explorer who has died on an expedition - but they haven't been told the whole truth about what happened. They set about solving the mystery and experience quite the adventure along the way.

The sibling dynamic between Arthur and Maudie is so genuine and, at times, so heartfelt, it got m
♡ jules ♡
I really loved this one! If you like mystery, adventure and middle grade I absolutely recommend it!
It reminded me so much of treasure island and I seriously had so much fun.

Arthur and Maudie are twins and seriously the most precious children you'll ever find. I adored their relationship, they really completed each other and the way Maudie would jump on anyone who dared come after her brother. MY FEELINGS, OKAY. MY FEELINGS.
I loved the found family trope in this book. I loved to see them still ke
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brightstorm is a wonderfully paced, absorbing read that delivers a special feeling of adventure reserved for stories that you just cannot put down. The story focuses on twin siblings who are searching for answers about their missing father, a famous lost explorer who went down with his airship under mysterious circumstances. After losing their only living parent, the twins find themselves in dire straits and soon find themselves destitute. But their ingenuity, intelligence, and determination lan ...more
Kerry Mintern
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
A storming adventure that’s full of heart. I loved it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Amélie Boucher
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This was such a fun, thrilling adventure! I had such a great time reading this book. There were never any dull moments and not only did I love the idea of the expedition but I also really loved the whole mystery aspect that was added to the story.

I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, favorites
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

Brightstorm is an adventurous middle grade novel that is full of exploration, fascinating characters and settings, and some really great messages about family and friendship.

I love books that center on explorers and adventurers, so Brightstorm right away seemed like something that I would like. It did not disappoint when it comes to the exploratory aspect and I had such an incredibly time following Arthur and Maudie along their journey to reach Sout
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What good fun! I read Brightstorm in just one day, which is pretty rare for me. It's the first book I read for the #primaryschoolbookclub on twitter. It's engaging right from the start and takes you straight into the plot and the intriguing world of the characters. Twins, Arthur and Maudie, are told that their father, a famous explorer, has died attempting to be the first to reach the South Polaris, but also must live with the knowledge that he cheated and stole fuel from another competitor's sh ...more
Sinéad O'Hart
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This marvellous book sucked me right into its world from the very first page, and I couldn't leave it out of my hand until I'd finished it. I loved the characters - child, adult, and animal alike! - and every one of them could have their own book, such is the skill with which they are presented. As well as the excellent, pacy plotting and the fantastically well-rounded characters, this book is so beautifully written that it left me aglow with admiration. I loved clever, mechanically-minded Maudi ...more
Nostalgia Reader
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, rounding up.

While it was definitely a bit of a trite adventure set-up, that didn't deter me from enjoying this at all! Probably because this is the exact kind of book I would have glommed onto when I was in the target age range to begin with. It does seem a bit like a Golden Compass fan-fic at some points, with the sapient animal sidekicks, and the general aesthetic is trying to be steampunkish but falls a little flat in the unconvincing naming of things (i.e. binoscope for binoculars
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read- April 2020 for the O.W.Ls
- I enjoyed this a lot more than I actually thought I would. I loved all of the main characters and there was a great villain.
Sheila Goicea
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Series of Unfortunate Events
I received a copy of this book from the publisher Norton Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.

Wow! This is the first time I've received an ARC for a book that I "Wished" for on Netgalley. Thanks so much Norton Young Readers!


Content Warning: Death of a parent, Attempted murder, Plane Crash

Twins Arthur and Maudie are children to a famous explorer. Their father had been on an expedition to the South Polaris when his
Sara Diane
I got this from NetGalley to preview.

A charming little adventure for younger readers (good target would be 8-12). I found the writing to be fairly clean but a tad didactic, but for the most part it was a solid story. I would have liked to see Hardy trust her readers a little more instead of her being very pointed in the lessons, but it wasn't so bad that I wanted to quit reading. Just enough intrigue and hope.
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star-rating
I went into this expecting another adventure middle grade, like so many I’ve read. But this is probably one of the better ones I’ve read. Filled with real emotions, real connections and real adventure. I loved the mix of steam punk, magic and reality, the world is vast, rich and wonderful.

I cannot wait to dive into the next book and see what adventures find me and the twins next. This book has been a great source of entertainment and comfort during some rather difficult things. Thank you.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The loveliest book I've read recently <3
Recommended for both children and adults who love fantasy and adventure. It has a vibe of Jules Verne and Lemony Snicket
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, lib19
A gorgeous adventure! Twins Arthur and Maudie are left destitute in an alternate version of London when their father never returns from a voyage in his airship to reach the South Polaris on the mysterious Third Continent. He's considered guilty of failing to render aid to his chief competitor in his quest for the polaris, the powerful Eudora Vine. Then Arthur and Maudie are taken on as crew by a young captain, Harriet Culpepper, who flies an airship like no other. She's determined to beat Eudora ...more
Belles Middle Grade Library
Here is another time that the book & its author is TOTALLY worth ALL the hype. I finished this yesterday afternoon, & immediately started the 2nd book last night. I love my steampunks, & this 1 definitely delivered. Yet another MG that touches on grief & handles it so HONESTLY & amazingly. The sibling dynamic b/n the twins was awesomely written. It was so genuine, & moving that it got me teary at some points. How much they love & depend on each other. Always there for one another, fiercely loyal ...more
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
If this series had been around when I was a child I would have been all over it. It’s fun, interesting, and vibrates with a sense of adventure. The siblings are supportive and work together towards their common goals. Also, I really enjoyed that Maudie is a budding female engineer. However, there were some parts that didn’t quite work for me, but that is mostly just because I am an adult reader. Also, the lessons that the author wanted to express to the reader were a little too direct for my tas ...more
Anthony Burt
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a totally absorbing, no-holds-barred magical adventure by Vashti Hardy! If you’ve ever dreamed of soaring through the skies in your own sky ship, then you must must must read Brightstorm as it is fantastic, thrilling fun.

Following the disappearance of their father, Arthur and Maudie, two wonderful characters, are both traumatically ‘taken into care’ in a horrible, scummy part of Lontown (where they live). They are treated like slaves by the Begginses (my precioouussss) and – whilst readi
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yes, a-good-time
Ok I was really not expecting to get so e m o t i o n a l while reading this book but here I am!

This is a fairly straightforward adventure/exploration story at first glance, but it gets a lot deeper than that as it goes. It includes a needed critique of colonization at a level that is accessible for younger readers. Loss and grief are surprisingly not avoided, and are in fact integral to the story. (view spoiler) And
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, steampunk
Brightstorm was a fun read. It’s the first novel in a fast-paced, middle-grade fantasy series that has some steampunk influence and is about Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm, twins who we quickly learn are orphaned because their father, Ernest, a famous explorer, died on a recent expedition. His competitor, Eudora Vane, returns with this grim news and also tells the Lontown Geographical Society that Ernest and his crew attempted to steal supplies from her ship. The twins refuse to believe their fat ...more
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
9) Ninth read for #believathon!

This was a mix between A Series of Unfortunate Events and Treasure Planet, which means I absolutely loved it!
It was fast paced, charming, really well written, atmospheric, and *clears throat* HAS A DISABLE MC!! AAAAAAA!! AND IT'S NOT ABLEIST (dispite it does deal with the ableism in society a little, so be careful). I cannot express how happy this makes me as a disable reader. To know that children these days have the chance to grow up with Arthur, just warms my
Anne Secher
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars for this one.

An adventurous fast paced story with nicely rounded characters and a world so well described that it was impossible not to imagine every possible detail.

It keeps you needing to know what happens, so engaged that it would wake you up even if you're falling asleep.

The narration in the audiobook was spotless and made it even harder to stop. Characters perfectly distinguishable and real.

Would definitely recommend!
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great fun younger mg steampunk adventure. Fast paced and filled with broad, bubbly characters and bright, colourful world building, with lots of different sights to see. The friendly and enjoyable writing style evoked the feel and tone of Aardman’s pirates, or a classic kids anime-manga adventure series.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant adventure, filled with friends, siblings and an evil villain. I absolutely adored this fast paced adventure. There’s some brilliant animal friends who help out too! Kids being brilliant and determined? Best kind of stories!
Andria Sedig
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
This book was such a fun read - it had a steam punk fantasy Series of Unfortunate Events vibe and I really enjoyed the adventure in this story. Despite this being aimed at middle grade readers, I found that the characters and plot were really well developed, the pacing of the book was strong, and the mystery woven into the story kept me wanting to read more.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Listen, I love adventure stories and I love exploring. This one reminded me so much of films like Atlantis and Treasure Planet, and I imagined it all like an animated movie from the early 2000s in my mind.

4.75/5 *
Mar 29, 2020 marked it as dnf
I won this via goodreads giveaways semi ages ago (I suck at keeping up with my ebooks). All my opinions are my own.

Not my cup of tea:(
Eva Grinberga
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent action packed middle grade adventure story. Will be purchasing a copy for my 11 year old
Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, fantasy, children-s
A fun fantasy adventure book about discovery, mystery and friendship.
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