Thursday, 27 June 2019

Series Review | The Cogheart Adventures by Peter Bunzl

 

Title: Cogheart Adventures series (Books 1,2 & 3) 
Author: Peter Bunzl
Publisher: Usborne
Format: Ebooks via Scribd
Target Audience: Middle Grade

Synopsis

Cogheart -

Lily's life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her? With her friends - Robert, the clockmaker's son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox - Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realizes that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart...

Moonlocket - 

Storm clouds gather over Lily and Robert's summer when criminal mastermind the Jack of Diamonds appears. For Jack is searching for the mysterious Moonlocket - but that's not the only thing he wants.

Skycircus - 

When a travelling skycircus arrives in Brackenbridge, Lily and Robert can't wait to step aboard... But there's something sinister about the hybrid children who appear as part of the act. And before Lily and Robert can do anything, they're captured by shadowy figures and whisked off in the mysterious flying circus to somewhere far, far away...

Overall Rating

My Thoughts

No one conquers fear easily. It takes practice to reach true heights; a brave heart to win great battles. 

I've always been a bit wary when it comes to middle grade books. I've never been particularly intrigued by them and I simply thought I was just a bit too old now to fully be able to enjoy them. However since starting my blog and reading other bloggers posts, I've seen a couple of middle grade novels that have peaked my interest and made me want to give them a go myself. I decided that I was going to make more of an effort to read books targeted at younger readers and see if any suprised me.

I was approved for Moonlocket on Netgalley and was super excited to read it but then I found out it was actually the second book in a series. *Cue disappointed noise*. However, I had just signed up to a free trial of Scribd and decided to try my luck and see if the first book was on there. And lo and behold it was, along with the second and third books. A little confusing seeing as I'd been approved for what I thought was an ARC of the second book but it appears it's just being republished or something, I'm not really sure. Anyway, I thought you know what, I'm just going to go ahead and read all three books in the series.

If there is anything I can say to persuade you to read these books it's that the main character has a pet mechanimal (a mechanical animal,), a fox called Malkin, who is just so snarky and sarcastic and he's great. Throughout the whole series I was just wishing that mechanimals were real so I could have one of my very own, they seem like the perfect companions/sidekicks. Also, the third book has a character called Professor Manceplain and I laughed for a good couple of minutes after reading it!

The Cogheart Adventures are set in an alternate Victorian London where mechanical people and animals live among the rest of the population as well as the fact that zeppelins are the main transport systems - which I just think is so cool. We follow Lily and Malkin as she teams up with a young clockmakers apprentice called Robert and together they go on three exhilarating adventures involving being on the run from silver-eyed men, escaping the clutches of a criminal mastermind and attempting to save hybrid circus performers.

Each adventure is fast-paced and action packed, the world-building is terrific with some great steampunk descriptions and the characters are loveable and brave. Peter Bunzl does an excellent job of blending mystery and adventure with such unique and fun plots. The new character additions in each book are just as enjoyable the originals, Tolly the street urchin and Anna the reporter and author of penny dreadfuls being some of my favourites. 

That's the beauty of stories - they're like clay, you can mould them into whatever shape you like. They don't always have to be the same. They can change.

I will say that the third book in the series wasn't as gripping as the first two for me. It felt slightly slower in pacing and I wasn't as invested in the plot but it's still incredibly fun and I only lowered my rating by half a star compared to my ratings for the other books. 

If you're looking for a fun fantasy middle grade series,  I would definitely recommend you pick this one up. Adults will enjoy these books just as much as kids as it has some great universal themes of friendship, family and finding your place in the world.

*I recieved an ARC of Moonlocket via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.     
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