A new adventure awaits Charlie Pondicherry and his ragtag band of uncanny friends.
Picking up two days after the climactic events of The Kidnap Plot (2016), this second series installment follows the Punjabi-English clockwork boy Charlie—who is still reeling from his father’s murder—as he races to warn an old associate of his father’s that the nefarious Iron Cog organization is coming for him. During a freak storm, Charlie is separated from his companions, Gnat the patrician pixie, Ollie the shape-shifter, and Bob, a girl pilot masquerading as a boy. The novel’s events again unreel at a frenetic pace, but readers are still drawn into a magical steampunk world in which pixies exist alongside humans in turn-of-the-century Great Britain. The series’ quests are as much about enriching bookworm Charlie’s real-world education as they are about high-flying adventure, and this tale expands his life experience even more, taking him from his London home into the wilds of Wales. The author introduces Charlie to another diverse set of characters whom he gradually wins over through selflessness and heroics, including a magical singing Welshman, a host of wood elves, and a dwarf who enslaves clockwork machines and initially denies Charlie’s humanity. Along the way, Charlie learns that true family is oftentimes something that you create for yourself.
An entertaining sequel that leaves readers wanting more. (Fantasy. 10-14)