So, my final review for my A-Blog-Day-Holiday. It’s been fun! It’s been a challenge. It’s helped me get down an extensive blog pile! This isn’t the end however, there are exciting blog things to come, so watch this space for those!
So, my chosen, final holiday blog. This book was chosen as our read for this month’s @KidLitReaders over on Twitter (monthly online kid lit book group, check us out).
It is Cogheart by Peter Bunzl and published by Usborne.
First off, I have to say, huge hats off to Becca Sadtlander for the inside illustrations, map and this year’s most stunning cover artwork. Cogheart has been causing a stir over social media and in book shops. That’s because it’s brilliant, but I think a lot of it also has to do with that glorious cover. It stands out, it draws you in, it makes you want to choose this book. This cover is the perfect example of the power of superb cover design. The animated versions flying around social media bring this tale to life before you even dive between the pages.
Cogheart, set (quite subtly) in Victorian period, but with a steampunk feel to it. The world is a mix of humans and “mechanicals” clockwork beings who serve the humans. Our main character in this is Lily and her father is missing, having gone down with his ship and now presumed dead. Lily refuses to believe this, and sets out on a daring adventure to find him. Along the way she meets Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox, sent by her father to reveal the truth of her past.
Chased by men with silver eyes, the three friends face mystery, murder, truths and lies in this action adventure story with more twists, turns and frightening dead ends than Bowie’s Labyrinth!
Sometimes you come across a story that’s imaginative and unique and great fun to read, and this is it! Peter Bunzl takes us on a crazy and fast paced adventure that will leave you breathless. It’s beautifully written in a gentle poetic style, and yet the action will punch you in the ribs! There are many shocking moments in this book, one that truly shocked me! It’s not a light read, by any means, so more suited for older middle fiction readers, but it’s so enjoyable a truly exciting adventure story. The silver eyed enemies of Lily are genuinely creepy, terrifying actually, just what you want from a bad character!
Lily, Robert, Malkin and actually my favourite character from Cogheart the plucky Anna Quinn are beautifully developed. You see how they evolve through the story, most of all Robert, who faces all his fears and shows real guile by the end of the story. The mechanicals are wonderful! They have their own fantastic and quirky way of speaking, and although they are all cogs and gears they are the most heartfelt characters in this book.
To be honest, by the final page in Cogheart all characters had well and truly stolen my heart and that’s what really great storytelling is all about!
The steampunk theme of Cogheart is sure to appeal to all children, it’s a really cool idea that lends itself to the story so perfectly. The chases between the airships are seriously heart stopping moments!
This is a brilliant read from start to finish. It’s got heroes you love, the bad guys are, well, really, horribly bad, and the peripheral minor characters are anything but! This is a chunky middle fiction book that you will read in no time at all because it races along at great speed. You just have to go with it and, crikey, it makes for one fantastic ride!
Coghert is now available from all good bookshops and libraries.
Peter Bunzl has his own corner of the internet, run on cogs alone, it’s true! Check it out!
On September 25th, the Kid Lit Readers got together and had a fantastic chat about Cogheart along with Peter Bunzl, who kindly joined us. You can read the Storify of it right here:
– Kid Lit Readers – Cogheart Storify
Thank you for reading this mechanical Book Monster review.