Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Boneshaker by Kate Milford

I have missed reading my young reader books!  It seems like I have so much adult and teen books waiting in the  piles around my house that the young reader novels fall to the wayside.  I may have to dedicate a month to reading kids books in 2013.  

But!  I have been reading other book blogs, and The Boneshaker  by Kate Milford has popped up a few times--with the kind of reviews that peaked my interest.  And at the super deluxe cheapo price of $6.99 you too can read a great book that will keep you and any young reader up late into the night.  

I will say this is a book that should be geared towards kids along the ages of 10+. There are some terms and ideas in here that might be a bit confusing for the younger crowd.  I myself had to page back a few times to re-read a few scenes to get them clear in my mind.

With that said, I loved this book.  The back cover says it is reminiscent of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes and I have to agree on that point.  A small town in Missouri--Arcane-- set in early 20th century. Not too far away, the old ruins of the original Arcane--set at a crossroads.  A young girl, Natalie, who's currently engrossed in building the perfect automaton, mastering riding her red bike, and working with her Dad in his garage full of wheels, gears, and all sorts of wonderous things.  She's the kind of girl most of us wanted to be at 13:  smart, tough, and courageous.  

Enter in Limberg's Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show.  A traveling show full of odd--very odd-characters, lead by Dr. Jake Limberg--a creepy red haired man who wears leather gloves and sets Natalie's weird radar on high alert.  There's something not quite right about this traveling show, and only a few people in the town of Arcane recognize evil when it rolls into town and set up shop in an abandoned field.  It's up to Natalie to figure out just what's going on before it's too late to save Arcane.  

Loved the characters in this story, and the great feel of small town America at the turn of the 20th century--when people still believed in magic potions, guitars that played otherworldy music, and most important of all--the power of storytelling.  

My rating:  4/5 for an original story--golly, I wish I could write like this!  And the black and white pencil drawings throughout the novel add to the story.  

And just in time:  the prequel to The Boneshaker is out!  The Broken Lands takes place on Coney Island in the 19th century.  Oooh, can't wait to read it!

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