Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LARKLIGHT by Philip Reeve Kirkus Star


A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space

by Philip Reeve & illustrated by David Wyatt

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-59990-020-3
Publisher: Bloomsbury

The glory of Empire meets Star Trek in this space fantasy-picaresque that Edgar Rice Burroughs would have loved. Staunch British citizens Art Mumby and older sister Myrtle live in Larklight, a free-floating home just on the other side of the Moon. When giant white spiders invade and attack their father, the two escape, propelled into a series of adventures that bring them into contact with Jack Havock, teen pirate, his crew of xenomorphs upon the aether-ship Sophronia, Sir Richard Burton, agent of Her Majesty’s Secret Service on Mars and Thunderhead, the vast intelligence that is the Red Spot of Jupiter. Reeve brilliantly creates a world where the environs of space are governed by credibly 19th-century assumptions: Interplanetary travel takes place in wooden vessels; the aether has enough oxygen for our dauntless characters to breathe; and a panoply of whimsical aliens populates the solar system. Art, the quintessential boy, narrates this rip-roaring adventure, allowing his very ladylike sister’s diary to fill in the holes when they are separated, and the interplay between the two is priceless in itself. Jolly good fun, all around. (Fiction. 10-14)