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The Steam Mole (Cuttlefish) Hardcover – December 4, 2012
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"Delightful… Set in an Australia where it is too hot to go outside during the day, The Steam Mole is something of a love-letter to Freer's adopted country and a whacking good tale."-Otherwhere Gazette
"Dave Freer always delivers compelling, fast-moving, and addictive fantasy adventures. Write more, Dave." -Garth Nix, New York Times-bestselling author of the Abhorsen trilogy and the Keys to the Kingdom series
"David Freer is an imaginative author who tells great stories." -Rebecca Moesta, New York Times-bestselling coauthor of Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights"
About the Author
- Grade Level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 14.7 ounces
- Hardcover : 300 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1616146924
- ISBN-10 : 1616146923
- Product Dimensions : 5.76 x 1.03 x 8.76 inches
- Reading level : 12 and up
- Publisher : Pyr (December 4, 2012)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,554,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Our protagonists run into various forms of prejudice, but work their way through the obstacles, and the day is saved.
Very nice world-building; characters with character.
If you have not read Cuttlefish, get that first.
What I love about Cuttlefish and The Steam Mole is how consistent Freer remains with the steampunk and science-fiction elements. Clara is no longer confined to an illegal, coal powered submarine, but Freer easily introduces another intricate, and quite important, machine: the steam mole. The steam mole is a central part of the novel that intrigued me because it took the biggest scenes of adventure underground. It's like exploring a whole new world with the same suspenseful aura and complex storyline.
Freer extends our view of Clara's world. With her mother's sudden illness, and the fragile hope that her father is imprisoned nearby, the story's plots and subplots diverge. New characters are thrown into the growing pile of perspectives like Lampy, the young aboriginal with a dark past and bright future. Lampy reminded me of Tim because of their similar backgrounds and temperaments; both know how to survive in the most unlikeliest situations and both are the victims of prejudice based on the color of their skin. This aspect brings a certain cultural awareness that is highly overlooked in young adult literature. That it's found in a steampunk, sci-fi novel is even more of a draw.
While I did enjoy The Steam Mole and it's perfectly pieced together conclusion, I have to say that it wasn't quite the sequel to Cuttlefish that I'd been expecting. By the end of the story I got the impression that the characters were settling in their new lives, not gearing up for a possible future adventure. When the subplots finally converged and the wrongs set right, the outcome felt as though forced. Freer made it too easy and not as nerve-wrecking as the explosive conclusion of Cuttlefish. I really love Clara and Tim, their ability to tough it out is awesome, I'm hoping to find their story continue in another novel. Hopefully, one with just as much action and alternate history!
*Book provided via publisher in exchange for an honest review*
However, the Cuttlefish needs repairs so the Calland duo and the crew are stranded. Whereas the crew obtains work on the underground Steam Moles, Clara and her mother try to persuade the local leadership to buy their manufacturing secret. However, when her mother becomes ill, Clara turns to her boyfriend Tim Barnabas a submariner for help, but he fled due to a racist incident. Meanwhile the nefarious Duke has not given up the pursuit but in fact expanded his plan.
The second Clara Calland alternate historical (see Cuttlefish) is an exciting young adult steampunk thriller starring a brave heroine and a strong support cast in the fully developed Freer world. Although it behooves the audience to read Cuttlefish first to better appreciate what is happening in this realm, fans will relish this entertaining tale.
Clara and Tim are still enormous amounts of fun, and strong, well written characters. The plot points run on rails, and the supporting cast is divine.
Absolutely an incredible read.