Roll up, roll up! Come and enjoy the incredible, fantastical ‘Sky Circus’ a new Cogheart adventure from Peter Bunzl. Prepare to be dazzled! Amazed! And totally enthralled by this break-taking and thrilling extravaganza of a read. When Lily receives a mysterious invitation on her birthday to Slimwood’s Stupendous Travelling Sky Circus, alongside a notebook belonging to her mother she is inevitably intrigued. Despite the cryptic message hinting that it knows the key to a secret that Lily has preciously guarded, the allure of seeing Angelique a hybrid flying girl proves too much of a temptation and Lily convinces her close friends Robert and Malkin to come along for a ride. Little does Lily know that she’s about to lead her friends into a sinister trap where they will find themselves caught up in the most perilous adventure of their lives.
Peter has the most incredible ability to create stories that are so compelling that they hold you tightly in their grasp from the first to the very last page. I raced through ‘Sky Circus,’ unable to put it down as I needed to find out how this remarkable adventure ended. Whilst I completely adored ‘Cogheart,’ and ‘Moonlocket,’ this book has totally surpassed my expectations, the pace and energy just crackles through the pages making this an unmissable read. He manages to seamlessly weave a more thought-provoking element through this story, which in no way slows down the action. Lily for the first time in her life gets an insight into the life of hybrids whose uniqueness is more obvious to the outside world than hers and witnesses the harshness of society’s treatment of them. The fractured relationship between the circus performers and the hybrids has been caused by Slimwood and Madame carefully using the fear of the unknown to stir up hatred and division. It cleverly demonstrates how easy it is to create distrust amongst different groups of people thus allowing them to have the power to control them all. There is also a nod to the struggles faced by women in Victorian times, which despite being a time of embracing invention and discovery didn’t extend this courtesy of openness even to the most brilliant of female minds.
As well as allowing the reader to discover more about Lily and Robert, Peter introduces a new cast of characters who wonderfully enhance the story adding a richness and flavour to this adventure. You can’t help but be horrified by the way Angelique, Luca and Deedee have been ruthlessly exploited by those who they thought were their saviours but instead had the most dastardly plans in mind. Despite having their dignity taken away and living in constant fear of punishment, their humanity and bravery in the face of evil is just astounding. Peter’s storytelling is vibrant and glorious, the beautifully lyrical language conjures up this fantastical world which you can see appearing right before your eyes as you get lost in this amazing adventure. An exceptional adventure, wonderfully told, this book is a complete joy from start to finish and I just can’t recommend it enough. Bravo Peter! Thanks for another incredible performance, please take a bow and enjoy the applause.
Thank you to Usborne for sending me an early copy of this magnificent book. ‘Sky Circus,’ is released on the 4th October and is available to pre-order online or from any good bookshop.