From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—As the Mumby family gathers to celebrate Christmas at Larklight, their Earth-orbiting home, a dire message arrives alerting them of a "Great Danger" threatening the universe. The family sets off across the solar system to Georgium Sidus (aka Uranus) to find out what is wrong. So begins Art and Myrtle Mumby's latest space adventure. The danger turns out to be the Mothmaker, a malevolent Shaper or creator of planetary systems. It is determined to conquer the worlds, including Earth, created by another Shaper, Mrs. Mumby, and enslave the creatures, including humans, created by her. A series of exciting and entertaining episodes involving various characters and imaginative creatures leads up to a final confrontation between the Mothmaker and Art, Myrtle, and their companions at Balmoral Castle. While the story is told primarily from the point of view of Art, who is prone to use inflated language, Myrtle's diary entries are inserted throughout and include amusing commentary. The unlikely, somewhat awkward romance between the prim and proper Myrtle and Jack Havock is back on, much to Art's chagrin. Mothmaker
is a clever blending of genres including science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, and adventure with a liberal dash of British humor and style. One might describe it as a cross between science fiction, action movie, soap opera, and situation comedy. In sum, it's simply a jolly good read.—Jennifer D. Montgomery, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
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After two stirring adventures in a row (Larklight, 2006, and Starcross, 2007), Art Mumby is looking forward to a well-deserved holiday. He and his sister, Myrtle, and their remarkable parents are welcoming Jack Havock and the gallant crew of the Sophronia to a Yuletide feast just as a space gunboat arrives. The HMS Actaeon bears old friends Sir Richard Burton and his wife, Ulla, but it also brings shocking news. An intercepted distress signal warns of an unknown peril from an uncharted sphere. Before you can say “Great Scott!” Art, Myrtle, and friends find themselves once again in a sticky situation, this time involving a vast cloud of Giant Moths, an Evil Shaper, and other assorted threats to the universe. Art, aided by inserts from Myrtle’s diary, relates the tale of British pluck triumphing once again. Reeve’s tongue is still firmly planted in his cheek, and this wacky series soars on, providing a galaxy of laughs, imaginative characters, and faster-than-light plotting all tied up with a Victorian bow. Huzzah for the Queen, the Empire, and the Larklight series! Grades 5-8. --Lynn Rutan