Kathryn's Reviews > Larklight

Larklight by Philip Reeve
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's review
Oct 08, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: very-favorites, fantasy-sci-fi, annie-and-katie-bookclub
Recommended to Kathryn by: Quasar (thank you SO much!)
Read in February, 2008

2 March 2008

Huzzah! What a glorious tale. I loved it! Certainly one of my new-favorite books; besides being oodles of fun to read, it was thoughtful, imaginative, charming, adventurous, surprisingly well written with delightful illustrations. I would never have believed that a Victorian outer-space adventure with aether-ship pirates, giant talking spiders, plots against the Empire (oh no! God Save the Queen!) and hoverhogs could fit together so perfectly, conveyed by the pen of a brave British boy, worthy of every adventure that befell him (and some surprising thoughtfulness, too!) with journal excerpts from his sister, who is brave enough to help defeat the villains on her own, but still wishes her dress could have been a little tidier for the occasion. All manner of praise for this book, and I look forward to more!

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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Qt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Qt Glad you like the beginning! I too love the concept.

message 2: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Perfect review Katie! Huzzah!:D

message 3: by X (new) - rated it 4 stars

X Glad you liked it! Now I need to read it sometime too. :)

message 4: by Qt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Qt Great review! I too love how such strange things all fit together so well. And I love the Victorian writing style too!
I felt a bit bad for the villains (Mr. Webster) at the end, when I realized what their viewpoint was--but still, the whole book was just so delicious! I look forward to more ;-) Any favorite characters?

message 5: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann **Semi-Spoiler**
Yes, once I found out the motives of Mr. Webster, etc., it was somewhat sad. I thought it was all quite interesting with the Shapers and their purpose, and the very small (but very important) thought from Art about how he wondered if the Shapers were right in justifying their actions (or something like that). Anyway, there were some things that were very thoughtful without trying to hit you over the head with something.
Yes! Loads of favorite characters!!:D
I loved both Mumby children! Mrs. Mumby was very neat as well! I also liked Jack and Ssisll (sp?) and Mr. Munkulous (sp again?) though I did get him and Mr. Grindle confused at times, but after I figured out who was who I must admit I was a tad more fond of Mr. M.:> Oh, and Nipper! I adored him!:D
Oh... I just realized... there really was no conclusion to the whole tree disease thing was there? Like, would there ever be a cure, and why was Jack the survivor. Huh. Book 2? Or just back story for why Jack was the way he was...?

message 6: by Qt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Qt I love your favorite character choices :-) I agree--I really liked all the characters to some extent (at least the good ones) but particularly Nipper and Ssillissa (sp?) And I too wonder if the tree bit will return in book 2!

message 7: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Do you plan to read book II soon, or spread it out?
**Spoiler Alert**
Do you think something will be resolved with Ssillissa? I felt so sorry for her with her feelings for Jack and realizing that he loved someone else. She was very sweet and good about it though. It was one of the surprises for me (not that she was good, but that she loved Jack)

message 8: by Qt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Qt I do plan to read book 2 soon--I meant to look at the library yesterday and see if they had it yet, but forgot. But, hopefully soon :-)
And yes, I do think Ssillissa will have some resolution in the next book; maybe she'll find the rest of her kind, eventually? Wasn't she asking Jack's mother about that? And it was kind of sad that she loved Jack and he loved Myrtle, but it was really nice that she (Ssil) was nice about it. So yes, it sounds like there will be more of her to come!

message 9: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Good! Glad you think so, too! She was an interesting character with an interesting back story:)

Kathryn I've enjoyed reading your comments, Annie and Quasar. Thanks! Here is my (tardy!) response:


Yes, I had favorite characters. Well, really, I enjoyed reading about all of them, but for different reasons. I felt that each character had a lot of layers, that even if we weren't necessarily delving into all of it, that we got a sense for much more there; especially with, say, Mr. Mumby; how he wanted there to be a different method than fighting, how he was interested in dissecting things (but, as we learned, maybe the Xenological Institute isn't all that great, really?) (BTW: Did any of you notice the "Xeno" connection like with Xenophilius Lovegood!? ;-> I thought it a cool name for the Institute, with the "love for things that are unknown" part of the definition. I loved both Mumby kids and especially appreciated the combination and variations of Art's narration and Myrtle's diary--ah, such fun! I liked Nipper so much, especially with his backstory at the London Institute with Jack, and Ssilssa was an interesting character as well, one I felt a lot of emotion for and I, too, look forward to more of her. Then, too, I loved Mrs. Mumby and thought it was sooo cool how she was such a "neat" Mom and did all those swashbuckling and brave things, but also being very tender and motherly, and also her whole Shaper past (ditto, Annie, that was such an interesting, philosophical aspect of the story!) I thought the "bad guys" were also quite interesting, and especially with Mr. Webster and, yes, Quasar, I thought that was sort of tragic in a way, after learning about their past and that is another one of the subtle philosophical aspects of the tale, I feel--I really liked all those undertones. Okay, I hope this gets me caught-up on the conversation! :-> I just really loved how the story was so fast-paced, yet thoughtful, and all the different surprises (I was surprised by a lot of it, I think the only thing I guessed was that the locket was the key and I wasn't so sure Mr or Mrs Mumby were dead.) I look forward to more adventures with the next book! (Oh, and not that they're really a favorite "character" but I thought the Hooverhogs were cool! Actually, I really loved how Reeves described all the creatures and other worlds and colonies and such; it just fit so well with the story, it wasn't like "Now I'm going to be cool and imaginative and describe this neat place I dreamed up" -- it just seemed so un-contrived and magically real! :->

message 11: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Ditto on all you said Katie!:D Yes, I loved the Hoverhogs, too! And also thought that all the characters and places were there for a reason other than simply to "create new creatures and places."
Oh, yeah, the Xenophilius Lovegood!!! I was thinking of that, too, but couldn't recall what it stood for - even cooler knowing!!:D

message 12: by Qt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Qt I agree with all your comments, Katie! I didn't pick up on the "Xeno" bit, but that's neat, now that you mention it :-D And I too loved all the different worlds and creatures, and how it was all so very original and unique--and yes, plenty of surprises and character development, and as you said, a lot of different layers and aspects to the story--just wonderful :-D

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