A young girl living by her wits and light fingers in London might hold the key to ultimate empire. A half-breed fanatic bent on subjugating the fairy kingdom that spurned him. A handsome trickster. Add a madhouse, a school that trains girls in spycraft, a creation of etheric science, and the clever author Gaie Sebold, and you have a tasty adventure called Shanghai Sparrow.
I fell in love with the scrappy Eveline Duchen, otherwise known as Evvie Sparrow. She’s a quick-thinking, clever girl with a gift for languages. A life on London’s unforgiving streets hasn’t yet robbed her of all kindness, and she is the sort of character a reader instantly roots for. Her opponent, the sinister Mr. Holmforth, is a frightening man. He is supposed to be on the side of law and justice, but he is revealed as a corrupt and hateful person. Disturbing as he is, I would have liked a little more about him a little earlier in the book.
This is a book for those who like a little magic in their Steampunk. Evvie’s friend Liu is not what he appears to be. Or rather, he is much more than he seems. I would love to read more about him and more about the fairy kingdom, here called the Crepuscular. I do hope a sequel comes out soon.
I rather like Gaie Sebold’s distinctive narrative style. She combines the characters’ pasts and presents into a deep, fascinating story. Once you pick up one of her books, you cannot help but keep reading until the last tangle is unwound, the last revelation discovered.
I highly recommend this book. I give Shanghai Sparrow four and a half gears out of five. It is an excellent adventure for all ages, or rather, all ages able to read books that come in chapters.
Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,
Penny J. Merriweather