Thursday, 17 January 2019

Fleur Hitchcock - The Boy Who Flew - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


Athan Wilde dreams of flight. When his friend, Mr Chen, is murdered, Athan must rescue the flying machine they were building together and stop it falling into the wrong hands. But keeping the machine safe puts his family in terrible danger. What will Athan choose – flight or family?
From the acclaimed author of Murder In Midwinter, Fleur Hitchcock’s The Boy Who Flew is a thrilling, murderous tale set among the steep rooftops and slippery characters of Athan’s intricately imagined world. Perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Peter Bunzl and Philip Reeve.
Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books is having a fantastic start to the New Year. We've had so many fantastic new books through the postbox to read already. Most of these are due to be published early this year, so make sure you check my other book reviews and add these to your list. We are looking forward to many more book adventures very soon. However, in the meantime, this is a review for the latest cracking book from Fleur Hitchcock. The Boy Who Flew is due to be published on 24th March 2019 in paperback by Nosy Crow. The book cover image (by Ben Mantle) is absolutely brilliant and invites the reader to enter a world that is so thrilling that they'll be instantly transported into an entertaining fantasy world. 

The story begins with a heart-thumping moment with the reader entering a world of wonder and murder. Athan Wilde's friend and mentor, Mr. Chen, has shockingly being murdered in a brutal way. The motive is to gain access to his plans for his latest invention .... a FLYING MACHINE. It's a thrilling period story full of danger. However, this does not deter Athan and his best friend, who are determined to find the murderers and protect the flying machine at all costs. The story flies across the rooftops with an exhilarating plot of danger and intrigue. Even Athan's family are pulled into danger, although this is unbeknown to them at the time. As a result, Athan has may choices to make and lots of unanswered questions to consider if he is going to stop the machine falling into the wrong hands.

This is a book that is carved out of science and history. Set in a time of great discoveries, the story is full of heroic adventures and dastardly deeds. The book's beating heart is powered by family and friendship. The brilliant depiction of Athan highlights the choices he has to make; his caring, brave and thoughtful nature turns this story into an epic roller-coaster of emotion as he dreams of freedom. 

The author has carved out a great collection of Dickensian-type characters that fit the setting particularly well and reflect a brilliant story. The murderous Colonel Blade is the best villainous character that I have read for some time. You'll come to both love and hate him at the same time. Full of dramatic and climatic action, the story is set in a brilliant dark and atmospheric world of corruption, lies and secrets. It throws you headfirst into the poverty-stricken crowded streets with the rich looking on from a more mighty and superior height. This is a dark narrative that is not shy; it pulls some mighty and unexpected punches for a middle-grade audience. As a result, it will be loved by anyone and everyone - you'll find yourself eagerly being sucked into its fantasy charms. This is a book that is definitely well worth the wait. Don't forget to pre-order it today! 

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