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Crown Phoenix: Night Watchman Express Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Length: 323 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books. She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1026 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Myrddin Publishing (October 3, 2012)
  • Publication Date: October 3, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009LMACWY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,428 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alison DeLuca is a writer of urban fantasy for young adults. She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. As a teacher she taught every grade level in every kind of school district possible.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Miriam's comfortable world is thrown into chaos when her father dies and his so-called business partners, Virgil and Theodosia Marchpane move in and start to take over the mansion. They've brought along their spoiled son, Simon, and his friend of more modest means, Neil. Upon the horrid realization that Theodosia is intent on moving Miriam up to the attic and installing Simon in her room, is not going down without a fight. She throws things, she curses, and is relegated to her room for days with only bread and water.

Mysterious, steampunky elements appear: twelve silver circles set in the stones near the shore, a seemingly magical night train that inspires strange dreams, and Miriam's own secret possession: her old-fashioned Crown Phoenix manual typewriter, which takes on a larger aura.

Miriam overhears Virgil and Theodosia's whispered business dealings. She reads their private papers and learns of shocking details. The Marchpanes hate her snoopy ways and hire a governess to keep Miriam in line.

Enter Manalapata Postulate, a character every bit as trippy as her name suggests. As Miriam's new governess, she has a hypnotic hold on everyone--for instance, the very racist Theodosia cannot recall saying yes to hiring Miss Postulate, who is the color of dark chocolate, yet Theodosia's signature's on the contract!

At first Miriam rails against her new governess, but soon Miss Postulate, or Mana, not only turns Miriam into a proper lady, she has also, to Theodosia's horror, charmed young Simon and Neil. When Miriam asks Mana why she's being so nice, we wonder too! Most everyone has a nefarious motivation that is big fun trying to figure out. Miriam is much more than she seems as well.
Danger lurks, and finally, the kids learn that Mana has been taken.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book, alongside its sibling, came to me just it time. I was in a desperate need of something interesting and different. To tell you the truth, steampunk and dystopian novels are something I love to read, but my world is full of weird creatures, that there is, simply, not enough time.

About the characters:
Miriam is a slightly spoiled, orphaned girl. Her world turns upside down when her guardians and their son move in her house. She has a vivid imagination and some spirit and this is something I liked about her.
The Marchpanes are Miriam's guardians. They are awful to her and their purpose is mysterious, since from the moment they move in with Miriam, they try to find something specific and for an unknown reason.
Simon is the Marchpanes' son. He is a rich kid, with no trace of his parents' characters. He's not ambitious for money and fame. He and Miriam dislike each other from the start, but their mutual hate for the Marchpanes brings them together.
Neil is Simon's best friend. He is a simple poor boy, and smart enough to win a scholarship at the same school Simon attends.
Mana is the most awesome character in the book. She is mysterious, wise and from the Islands, and she has some unique powers.
The Cantwells are some rich, charming and evil people. Their full plans of whom are best reveiled in the second book of the series.
And finally, Riki, an island girl that we meet later in the book. She is so nerve-breaking that, in my opinion, makes Neil a hero for tolerating her.

About the book:
The story is set in England and in an island called Lampala. The author is great with the descriptions of the places and the situations.
This book has two parts.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This adventure story has something for everyone - an orphaned girl tamed by a mysterious governess and partnered with two unlikely companions Simon and Neil on an epic odyssey, her guardians the Marchpanes who have less than charitable motives, an exotic and magical island nation, and a secret factory that links these worlds and characters together. It begins with the ominous sound of the train.

Some of my favorite childhood adventure tales, like Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn, were only missing one thing - a heroine. We have that in Miriam, who holds her own with the boys in the story, as does the courageous Ms. Postulate. This is a story I look forward to sharing with my children. In addition to a great story, the larger themes dealing with oppression, exploitation, greed, and abuse of a powerful substance that could blow laudanum (hey, it was the Victorian poison of choice) off the map can serve as a teaching tool.

Plus, my daughter, the budding writer, will adore Miriam and her stories.

I'd also like to ask Ms. Deluca to let me know when a direct flight to Lampala opens. The food sounds divine!

Thanks for the great read!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Alison DeLuca's first book in the Crown Phoenix series is a compulsive and stylish piece of fiction. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the book and its reviews and had an idea it would be a dark steampunk style tale. In fact it read very differently to me. Alison's story has a wonderful adventurous feel to it, with echoes of traditional children's adventure fantasy like CS Lewis, Nesbitt and even Enid Blyton and the pace of a 'ripping yarn.' Yet against this backdrop is placed a darker, creepier edge, with mysterious objects, prophetic dreams, drugs, psychic powers and the ominous Nightwatchman's Express.

This lifts it above a straight adventure story for MG/YA and into a realm which appeals to older readers.
Where the book shines most is in the depiction of rich, strong characters- notably the females in the book. Miriam, Mana, Barbara and Teri are all vibrant characters and knock the spots off the poor lads in the book.

The book ends with numerous mysteries yet to solve and the fate of several MCs unresolved. I'll be downloading the sequel very soon and urge everyone to read this great book.
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