Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most action-packed and relentlessly fast paced middle grade book I have ever read. And I have read more than a few.
This is steampunk adventure at breakneck speed, with a 12 year old orphan named Jack becoming an assistant to a consulting detective inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes after having used his acrobatic skills to escape the resident bullies of the orphanage. Escapades, escapes and close calls ensue in rapid fire fashion, with a general mashing-up of history that kept me second-guessing the time period of the story. Many references, historical figures and events may confuse or elude middle grade readers, but they do add to the adult reader's enjoyment. Never before have I encountered Winston Churchill, Nazis and steam powered spaceships in steampunk London.
Definitely a book I would recommend for ages 10 and up. Intermediate and middle grade girls will enjoy the characterization of 15 year old Scarlet, a budding suffragette, and both boys and girls will be blown away by the non-stop action and adventure.
If I was still a classroom teacher I would be considering this for a fun end of the day read-aloud. It is one of those wonderful books where each chapter ending makes you want to read more, and classes are disappointed when you have to stop reading and go home.
My thanks to the publisher for making this available as a Read Now ebook through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.