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Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times [Kindle Edition]

Emma Trevayne , Glenn Thomas
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $9.78
You Save: $7.21 (42%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Kindle Edition $9.78  
Hardcover $13.53  
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Book Description

In nineteenth-century England, a boy is about to discover a mysterious mechanical world he may never escape.

Ten-year-old Jack Foster has stepped through a doorway and into quite a different London.

Londinium is a smoky, dark, and dangerous place, home to mischievous metal fairies and fearsome clockwork dragons that breathe scalding steam. The people wear goggles to protect their eyes, brass grill insets in their nostrils to filter air, or mechanical limbs to replace missing ones.

Over it all rules the Lady, and the Lady has demanded a new son—a perfect flesh-and-blood child. She has chosen Jack. His only hope of escape lies with a legendary clockwork bird.

The Gearwing grants wishes—or it did, before it was broken—before it was killed. But some things don’t stay dead forever.

Fans of books like Splendors and Glooms and Goblin Secrets will find Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times irresistible!

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Feeling bored and unloved in his stuffy, late-nineteenth-century London home, Jack follows an enigmatic magician through a portal into an alternate world. There he explores the eerily familiar, yet frighteningly different city of Londinium, where brass grills embedded in the inhabitants’ nostrils enable them to breathe heavily polluted air. After being ensnared by the malevolent magician and adopted by the unstable Lady, who rules the land, Jack escapes and works with his few friends to free an ancient creature that can set things right in this damaged world. Clockwork creatures, metal fairies, and industrial pollution give the fantasy a steampunk twist. Like the story’s setting, its tone is bleak—uncommonly so for a novel apparently aimed at middle-graders. The dramatic plot twists, more than involvement with the mostly adult characters, will draw readers to finish the story, as will the vividly described settings and smooth pacing. The black-and-white illustrations were not available for comment, though the jacket art is intriguing. An unusual take on the alternate-worlds theme. Grades 5-7. --Carolyn Phelan


“So full of verve and imagination that the sinister steampunk world practically pops off the page. The prose sparkles, the inventions astonish, and the characters are ones you'll root for from the moment you meet them. Loved it, beginning to end.” (Stefan Bachman, author of The Peculiar)

"Once action passes through to Londinium the pace picks up and the steampunk narrative starts to hum. Jack's mechanical ability is put to good use, but it is the power of loyalty and friendship that gives the story its strength and drives it to a rousing conclusion." (The Horn Book Magazine)

Product Details

  • File Size: 10517 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 13, 2014)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,131 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Children's literature of all stripes often begins with the premise of lost or neglected children. Those children may find themselves on grand adventures, sometimes in other worlds, which help them make sense of the life they left behind or which compel them to return home. Emma Trevayne's latest novel has all these hallmarks of juvenile literature fantasy-adventures, along with several others. FLIGHTS AND CHIMES AND MYSTERIOUS TIMES adds some cool steampunk elements and inventive characters that make it at once familiar and original.

Jack Foster lives in 1899 London with his parents but spends most of his time away at school or, when at home, with the family housekeeper, Mrs. Pond. Jack's parents love him but seem to have little time for him, leaving him often in the care of others or alone with his beloved books. Things get a bit more interesting when Mrs. Foster's new spiritualist, Mr. Havelock, shows up and inquires about taking Jack on as an apprentice. Jack's mother says no and Jack's anger grows. Following Mr. Havelock one day, however, leads Jack through a magical portal, up a tower and then down to Londinium, a world of gears and velvet, mechanical body parts and life-size wind-up dolls with souls; it is a world that reflects London above and one that enchants and frightens Jack.

In Londinium, Jack's pink skin and lack of brass bits mark him as an outsider. Luckily he soon befriends Beth, a wind-up girl with a sharp mind who takes him to her creator, Dr. Snailwater. Though Jack is thrilled to be in Londinium and happy to be away from his family and his old life, it soon becomes clear that his stay there will be complicated and dangerous --- it turns out Mr. Havelock, really a man named Lorcan, has planned to bring him to this sooty and strange city all along.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, sophisticated middle grade wonder August 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Marvelously written and conceived, FLIGHTS AND CHIMES AND MYSTERIOUS TIMES is about a boy who finds himself elsewhere, but not quite interested in going back home. The writing and wide range of beautifully drawn characters will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman. As the story grew darker and more smog-choked, I found myself ever drawn into Trevanye's well-oiled, brass-edged world. An excellent work with a deeply satisfying ending.
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3.0 out of 5 stars More climatic August 26, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a pretty good read but I have to agree with some other reviewers that the ending seemed rushed. The antagonist was so horrid that I wanted a splashed ending for him. The good characters were likeable. The descriptions were lovely but sometimes they felt like the author was hoping for a movie contract. All the little mechanical fairies and such would be visually appealing in a film.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Favorite May 20, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this book because it has:
A thrilling adventure
A boy named Jack
A wind up girl
A magical bird
A mysterious lady
A sad and evil man
The world building is spot-on. You will sink so deeply into Londinium you may begin to believe you need clockwork parts yourself.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emma Trevayne's best yet May 20, 2014
A fast-paced and imaginative steampunk middle grade book, full of beautiful images both literal and figurative. Highly recommended! Go buy it or something!
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