cover image The Electrical Menagerie

The Electrical Menagerie

Mollie E. Reeder. Writeratops, $15.99 trade paper (323p) ISBN 978-0-692-12428-4

This delightful steampunk novel, which opens the Celestial Isle series, follows impoverished magician Sylvester Carthage and his assistant, Arbrook Huxley, as they compete to perform for the future queen of their fantastical land. Carthage convinces Huxley to enter the contest, but there’s danger lurking behind the scenes. As they unravel a terrorist plot, they untangle personal secrets, and their friendship grows. Reeder has created two dynamic and delightful characters in Carthage, a shy illusionist and inventor, and Huxley, a worldly con artist who is still very naive; they will grab the reader’s heart. The world Reeder builds for them, with floating islands, sky trains, and robots, is just as incredible. Hints of inspirational messages (“Nothing is impossible, Huxley. Not with a little imagination and the Grace of God”) flow perfectly with the story. Fantasy and steampunk fans will be amazed by this magical tale of mystery, illusion, and friendship. (BookLife)