Beyond the Starline: Book One in the Dark Sea Trilogy: Volume 1
The author, Austin Hackney, contacted me to see if I fancied reviewing his book. This was great because right at the start of my blog and pinned to my twitter page I actually advertise the fact that I like to review books and others things that interest me. For me, this means that I can enjoy new experiences which wouldn’t normally come my way. In this case, it was to be able to read a book with my eldest son, M (who’s 10) and complete the review together. Pretty cool!
Well, that was the plan…..
When her mother is murdered by pirates, Harriet Howland is thrust into a dangerous quest to find her missing father. A fast-paced steampunk adventure for everyone from 9 years old and up.
Who could resist? But wait….first question I had was, what is steampunk??? OK well for those of you who don’t know, which is exactly the position I was in: Steampunk is, and bear with me as this is my interpretation.. ‘a fusion of victorian style influences with high-tech cutting edge super technology’. The vision that jumped to mind (and my mummy and daddy followers will recognise this reference) is the hybrid, freaky toys that were patched together in Toy Story, the doll’s head on the metal spider legs…get my drift? You could have a look at the wiki answer but quite frankly I was even more baffled by that! The review for the book steered off in a different direction. I found myself following a route into steampunk and looking at books in that genre to get more of a handle of the style and type of writing that was being featured. I was really interested in this and lost quite a few hours this way, looking at Austin and other authors works.
I also watched a few of Austin Hackneys youtube videos. I wanted to have an understanding of the man behind the book. I found that he’s a great visual storyteller. One of those people who look like an actor telling a story and really lives the words. It reminded me of Jackanory which I watched as a child. Try and have a look at at least one of his videos and you will see what I mean.
While I was doing this M was getting on and reading the book. We agreed on him reading 30 pages a day when he got home from school. Now, different children read in different ways and have varied attention spans. I’m finding that M’s generation are hardly reading a book. More and more time is spent on the various devices they have access to. Whether that be X-Box, PS3, Kindle, Ipads or a selection of all of them and more. We have got into a rutt in our house of allowing just the bare minimum of ‘proper’ reading time. By this I mean – M can read, he has one book on the go for school and he gets on with it. He’s 10 and gets good feedback from school, I’ve been thinking this was sufficient. Of course, it’s not!
So, this was an opportunity for us as a family to have a bit of a shake up….we needed it! Thank you Austin!
M took on the role of reading the book and I carried out the research and then dipped into the book at various stages. It worked well…. proud mummy moment, we were working together!
So, the story…without giving any spoilers. Our heroine is Harriet who’s life is upturned in an instant. Starting out in the steamy smog filled city of Lundoon . She is thrown into a world that has all the fantastical characters you would hope for. They leap before you with image inspiring names such as; Professor Poliakoff, Sibelius the sky monkey and Captain Hardcastle.
I think that this book is an escape into fantasy, which for adults who have to try and act semi sensible most of the time, is thoroughly enjoyable. It picks you up and carries you away, side by side with the adventurers.
For M one of the most exciting moments was when the squid storm was introduced into the story. He said, “It made me feel like I was there in the dangerous mission to keep the special object safe”. He said that he would recommend it for people his age and above. He smiled and became enthusiastic when he was recounting the reading he carried out on a particular day. To see him take to a book in this way was a huge plus for me.
Key myrealfairy facts – Beyond the Starline
- The author is Austin Hackney
- Twitter name @AGHackney chat to him, he’s a friendly sort.
- This book is the first book in the Dark Sea Trilogy
- You can purchase it in kindle edition or paperback and you can buy it here.
I’d love to hear what you think about this genre of book. I am also super delighted to have the author, Austin Hackney popping onto this post and giving his feedback to some of the comments aswell – so keep an eye out!
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