Reviewed by Emily.
"Prue Haywood is on a mission: getting the ghost machines of Medlock to remember the people they used to be. She needs to find her brother, Francis. If she fails, her brother will stay dead. And if she succeeds, all society may fall apart."
Holy Cow! Those are some stakes right there!
I'm not usually a big reader of Middle-grade fantasy - If I'm looking for world building and epic adventures I normally turn to our vast home library of YA with experts like V.E. Shwab or Brian Sanderson leading me into their dark and wonderous worlds.
But having connected with author Vashti Hardy on twitter (oh for the love of the twitterverse,) and seen that she recently won the Blue Peter award - which is pretty much the UK version of 'Mecca,' (for those of us who grew up in the 80's,) I was dying to get my hands on a copy. I know how Esther loves a good, fast-paced twisty-turny adventure story and this sounded just up her street.
Then I read the back copy and decided 'heck, I'll read it first!'
Vashti has created a brilliantly unique premise - a world where machines carry the spirits of the dead. Our protaganist Pru, is a brave and spirited girl who is recovering from a deep loss of her own. Disguised as her late brother, she sets off to the city of Medlock to become an apprentice to the very inventors who created the 'personifate' machines. Her plan? To find her brother's ghost and bring him back.
I don't wish to give spoilers so I won't share any more, but rest assured there is barely an eleven-year-old out there who won't absolutely fall in love with this book. It has all the pieces in place - A strong and determined, science oriented, female leading lady (Yeah to girls rocking it in STEM!) a riveting and unique concept and a plot that does that marvellous thing of leading you deep into otherwordliness while keeping you rooted to the characters in their 'this world' humaness.
This was most certainly one of those occasions where I finished a book and thought - Darn it. Why didn't I come up with that?
Lots of gold stars from me:)
From Emily -
The strongest friends of the soul - BOOKS.