Ages: ALL AGES
Finished: Sept. 27, 2011
First Published: July 12, 2011
Publisher: Harper Design
Genre: graphic novel, science fiction, steampunk, romance
In a land far, far away, these fantastic castles were built as monuments to two very different and very important sciences.Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.
Reason for Reading: I've enjoyed other books by Sean O'Reilly and this one sounded wonderful, plus I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie (which doesn't have a release date as of yet).
First of all, an absolutely beautiful book. Illustrations are gorgeous and the book is just pleasure for the eyes to read. It's book like this I'd never trade for an ereader. The story centres around two scientists who live next door to each other, one who is a technical scientist building robots and automatons, whilst the other works with biological science creating new forms of life. They are enemies. Last year Dendrus won the annual fair with his "mutant boy" named Huxley. This year he has come with Huxley and to watch his students' presentations but without an entry himself. But The Tinkerer has finally created his masterpiece "The Clockwork Girl" who later names herself Tesla. Tesla and Huxley meet at the Fair and develop a friendship later secretly meeting between their respective castles, though their fathers are warring with each other, ala Romeo & Juliet.
The robot and the mutant like each other but it isn't anything more than platonic, there is a third child involved who it is unclear but I think is either Dendrus' assistant or own son. I'm glad the story doesn't enter into a romance as I'm not fond of that sort of thing, though the plot does enter the dramatic and intensiveness of a life and death situation such as is found in Romeo & Juliet. The plot actually has quite a few Shakespearean elements and is honestly, just a wonderful story to read. The characters are all quirky and fun, from the children to the adults to the creatures. The fair is a wonderful chapter with all sorts of weird and wacky inventions being displayed and causing trouble. But ultimately it is a story of lonely people, finding happiness in friendship and the despair one will only find in feuding with others. An adorable story suitable for all ages, some scenes may be too intense for little ones but otherwise young and old alike with love this wonderful story.
*Sean O'Reilly is a Canadian.