Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Matthew Skelton
Author: Matthew Skelton
"Let your mind be your compass and it will seldom steer you wrong." This is a line that will stick with me forever, and it appears in this wonderfully creative story. Is it just me, or are young adult books just getting better and better?
This fantastic story begins in 1756 near the Antarctic Circle. Aboard a ship called the Destiny, James Flux is a young lad working hard as part of the crew, with his best friend Felix Hardy. James wakes from his sleep; the air is so cold he can almost feel the blood freezing in his veins. Going on deck, James stares out at the desolate world feeling as if they’d finally sailed to the end of the earth. Before him is a luminous world of ice that’s so big it looks like its’ own continent. As James stares at the amazing structure, blue flames appear in the sky and race directly for a small metal globe (called a terrela) that hangs around James’ neck. The experience is unlike anything James has ever witnessed before, and he literally feels as if he’s been in the presence of God.
The book jumps to 1783 London, to a Foundling Hospital full of orphaned children who are trying their best to have a good life. One of the orphans is named Cirrus Flux; he’s an older young man who tries his best to help the new, frightened boys who are admitted to the hospital. One night, Cirrus looks out over the grounds across the meadow to a gnarled, blackened object that the boys refer to as the Gallows Tree. He can barely make out the body of a man standing underneath the tree releasing a red hot flaming orb that hovers in the air.
The next morning, Cirrus and his friend run out of the hospital and find a strange nest high up in the tree; the black crows quickly surround the boys and protect the odd object from their prying eyes and force them to run away. Soon, there are visitors to the hospital. One woman, Mrs. Orrery, is from the Guild of Empirical Science. She’s what the London world calls a mesmerist – able to cure the pains and ills of people by using hypnosis and erasing their memories. Although dressed like the finest of ladies, Mrs. Orrey acts somewhat evil as she tries to adopt Cirrus Flux from the institution. Although she’s adamant, she’s sent away from the place without the boy, taking only a young girl by the name of Pandora who was hiding in the room.
Pandora is alone in the world. The only property she owns is a small piece of fabric with the word HOPE embroidered on it that her mother left behind. She knows that her new mistress is up to no good, and immediately finds herself pulled into a mystery where evil men and women are trying with all their might to capture Cirrus Flux, because only Cirrus has the ultimate gift left by his father – a sought after treasure called the Breath of God.
This story is so well told; the author goes back and forth between the story of James Flux and his son, Cirrus, so that you turn every page. There are swashbuckling sailors; a host of ‘bad guys’; and, a magnificent creature called Alerion. The adventure of both father and son – from past to present – will keep you on the edge of your seat and take you into a world that you’ll wish with all your heart was real. Trust me, above all, this is one book you won’t want to put down – adult or child.