Larklight

  • by Philip Reeve
  • Narrated by Greg Steinburner
  • 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1851 a mysterious visitor to Art Mumby's space home has plans for a calamity that will destroy not only the entire British Empire, but also the known universe. Can disaster be prevented with help from Art's irritating sister Myrtle, a few exotic space creatures, and an extraterrestrial pirate?Author Phillip Reeve was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize Children's Book Award.

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What the Critics Say

"A Jules Verne-like concoction filtered through the sensibilities of Douglas Adams....The climax is an absolute hoot, and leaves the door wide open for any number of sequels. Ages 10-up." (Publishers Weekly)
"This wonderfully imaginative story would make a perfect gift for any adventurous preteen." (Children's Literature)
"This fun read will appeal mostly to fans of the steampunk genre." (VOYA)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great fun!

This is a magnificent story; great for the whole family, particularly if you have little Star Wars addicts like we do. Excitement, adventure, and a richly imagined and researched alternative history. In brief, this is a "young-orphans (not really, but they think so) make-good in the British Empire" story, with the added twist that, in place of the usual sea adventures, we have space adventures. HRM Victoria's empire includes the moon, Mars, and various Jovian satellites. Wow. The author manages to capture the speech and manners of Victorian England while still communicating to a modern young audience - no small feat! Fans of "real" history, particularly the history of science, will find fun tidbits scattered throughout for their consumption. Reeve does his homework.
In the words of the narrator: Huzzah!
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- Margot

Victorian space adventure

I'm of two minds with Larklight. First and foremost I am bowled over by the world Reeve has created. I can't recall ever reading a book with a more fully realized and original world. It seems as if every page contains a new species, device or concept - it's almost overwhelming. At the same time, the bits and pieces pulled from Victorian England are - to my remembering - historically accurate. Absolutely worth reading for this alone.

On the other hand, the plot itself isn't as compelling and drags at the end. Furthermore, the characters aren't nearly as well rendered as their environment, making it difficult to be that emotionally invested in what happens to them. It's almost as if Reeve had to decide where to put his efforts and plunked all his eggs into the world-building basket. What he created was extraordinary, and I hope that future efforts spread his talent around a bit more evenly.
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- Sarah Dumoulin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-23-2007
  • Publisher: Recorded Books