‘High Adventure in the Frozen South.’
With the recent release of Vashti Hardy’s second novel Wildspark (which I have heard on the book-vine is also A-mazing by the way!) I thought I would pop up a review of the absolute gem that is Brightstorm that I read very recently. If you are looking for a fun-packed Middle Grade adventure story that will appeal to both girls and boys then look no further!
When twins Arthur and Maudie receive word in Lontown that their famous explorer father has died in an attempt to reach South Polaris, and that he has brought the family name to shame in the process, they cant quite believe it and seek to discover the truth. On answering an ad to assist a new exploration attempt, the twins set sail on the sky ship Aurora. Along the way they need to prove their worth as crew members keeping up with the race to reach South Polaris, keep their wits about them as they encounter a whole host of new experiences and most importantly seek the answers they so desperately crave.
This is a high paced adventure novel. The chapters move quickly willing you to read ‘just a little bit more!’. The characters are fabulous and challenge stereotypes such as male and female roles/jobs and disability. The villainess of the story – Eudora Vane has a hint of Cruella D’Vil about her. I love how her layers are slowly unpeeled throughout the story to uncover her true villainous self. Vashti Hardy weaves her writer magic by creating a whole new fantastical world with elements of steam punk, mystical creatures and quirky and exotic locations. It is a story filled with both fun and emotion. The theme of death is sensitively handled but is one to be aware of for younger or more sensitive readers.
I am now eagerly anticipating reading Vashti Hardy’s next adventure Wildspark. You can find out more about Vashti Hardy and both Brightstorm and Wildspark over on her fabulous website.