Starcross: A Stirring Adventure of Spies, Time Travel and Curious Hats

Philip Reeve, Author, David Wyatt, Illustrator , illus. by David Wyatt. Bloomsbury $16.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59990-121-3

In this dashing and outrageous sequel to Larklight , plucky Art Mumby, his annoying and lovelorn sister Myrtle and their highly competent mother (who is simultaneously a traditional Victorian gentlewoman and a “four-and-a-half-thousand-million-year-old entity from another star”) travel through space to Starcross, “the Asteroid Belt’s Premier Resort Hotel.” They have been promised a relaxing respite from ongoing repairs to their orbital home—the resort purports to offer “the most tactful auto-servants... healthful air & the best opportunities for sea bathing in the Solar System.” Instead, however, they encounter murderous Punch and Judy shows, giant carnivorous sand crabs, time-traveling pieces of the planet Mars, and a nefarious plot by alien top hats to wrest control of space from the British Empire. (“Britons never, never, never shall be slaves, or the victims of man-eating hats,” Art tells himself when he is attacked in his hotel room.) While hilariously spoofing 19th-century imperial and colonial attitudes, various excesses of Victorian propriety, and such literary forms as the spy thriller and the space opera, this rambunctious, fast-moving tale also manages to provide plenty of thrills and excitement. This installment should easily win new readers for Reeve. Ages 10-up. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/05/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-59990-296-8
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-59990-875-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0376-7
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4088-2550-1
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