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The Kidnap Plot (The Extraordinary Journeys of Clockwork Charlie) Hardcover – June 14, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Charlie Pondicherry, the son of an inventor, lives a cloistered life in a back alley of London until his father is kidnapped and he is thrown headfirst into a series of adventures as he tries to rescue him. As Charlie travels through London, he meets a colorful cast of characters and learns that he might not be quite the boy he thinks he is (hint: the spoiler is in the title). The story is action packed and throws readers right in, but the world-building can feel overly busy, particularly since this version of steampunk London is populated not just by humans but also pixies, trolls, hulders, kobolds, and more, each with their own particular habits, dialect, and political subplots. An open ending promises more to come. VERDICT A page-turning adventure for ambitious readers who don't mind a bit of a learning curve.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
"Reminiscent of both Pinocchio and The Great Mouse Detective, this novel is tailor-made for young readers who love adventure narratives and steampunk fiction."—Kirkus Reviews
“A page-turning adventure for ambitious readers”—School Library Journal
“The fast-paced plot is action-packed but leaves room for Charlie’s coming-of-age journey… [The Kidnap Plot] should satisfy fans of fantasy and adventure.”—Publishers Weekly
“It’s a strong start to a new series—the characters are diverse, and Butler creates a smoky, grimy, harsh England that is almost a living character in itself. Readers will happily keep an eye out for the next volume.”—The Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books
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Top customer reviews
This book was a great read and I would definitely recommend it!
We are introduced to the main character, Charlie, who lives with his protective father who makes all kinds of wonderful machines and inventions. Charlie is bothered by three bullies at the beginning of the story, but soon they are the least of his troubles when his father is kidnapped by a sinister man.
Charlie and a few strange friends set out on a quest that starts with rescuing his father but soon becomes something much, much bigger. Along the way, Charlie finds out more about both his friends and himself.
Faries, trolls, dwarves, kobolds, and other magical creatures are all mixed into the story as well, adding excitement and interest. A greater understanding of these creatures is gained through a part of Smythson's Almanac explaining characteristics of each creature at the beginning of every chapter.
One of my favorite parts about the story was how unpredictable everything was. The storyline was filled with exciting twists and exciting new revelations that kept me reading! I also loved all of the various characters and how well-rounded and unique they all were.
I can't wait for the next book!
A mysterious evil conspiracy group, the Iron Cog, seek to unsettle the region, and maybe even the world. Charlie and crew get in and out of close scrapes while trying to track down the Iron Cog and save his father.
A great mix of the arcane, clockwork gear technology, and wonderful creatures working together to help Charlie on his adventure in the face of constant peril.
Quick read very creative and highly compelling. You should all go out and get a copy now. I look forward to Charlie's future adventures pitting this plucky young character and friends against the Iron Cog.
Lucky for me, my son liked the book so much that he finished it in short order.
Then I too read the book as fast as I could in order to discover the next character, adventure, or inventive Alamanack entry (one of the great features of the book).
The first question from both of my sons, and from me, after we finished the book was - when can we expect the next?