Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Firebird Mystery

The Firebird Mystery by Darrell Pitt (Text Publishing)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN  978-192214775-2
Reviewed by Wendy Fitzgerald

Text Publishers have put a red sticker on this book-
LOVE IT or your money back

Melbourne author, Darrell Pitt first published this story in a digital version. He called it The Steampunk Detective and as an eBook it attracted 48,000 downloads. Editors at Text noticed this and offered Pitt an 8 book deal with them. So, The Steampunk Detective was renamed as The Firebird Mystery and has been published as number one in a series.

In conjunction with this series Text Publishing are currently running a ‘How I Saved the World’ writing competition where you can win $1000 worth of books for your school and $100 worth of books for yourself (entries open 1st July 2014 and close 1st August 2014).

Melbourne author, Pitt has set The Firebird Mystery in a magical world of steam punk Victorian London amidst airships, space steamers, a 200 mile high metro tower, lots of crazy machines and intriguing gadgets. 

The main character, 14 year old Jack Mason grew up in a circus family. After a tragic accident Jack is orphaned and is sent to live in Sunnyside Orphanage in London. This orphanage is anything but ‘sunny’ and Jack is relieved but wary when he is offered an apprenticeship with a very eccentric famous detective called Ignatius Doyle.  Enter 15 year old fiery red headed clever young ‘suffragette’ Scarlet Bell. She comes to ask Ignatius Doyle’s help to find her father.

Add to the plot a criminal mastermind called ‘Professor M’ who is intent on destroying the world, an atomic bomb, the secret Phoenix Society, a missing painting, a cast of feisty characters and you have an exciting story. Can Jack, Scarlet and Ignatius Doyle work together to defeat Professor M and save the world from the atomic bomb? You will need to read this book to find out.

I was swept along by the fast-paced plot, captivated by the characters and surprised at a major twist at the end. I do recommend this book for readers 9 years and over who like action, mystery and adventure. At the end of Book 1 there is the first chapter of book 2 to whet your appetite for more Jack Mason adventures.

The second book in the series, The Secret Abyss will be launched on 25th June 2014 and the third book, The Broken Sun will be launched in November 2014.  

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