I want to share with you my review of a children's book called Key The Steampunk Vampire Girl & The Floating Mansion by Becket. I sincerely believe that children's books are not just for children and I love reading this genre. It is so important to remember the books which started us on our path as lovers of literature. This is a book that will be one to remember when your older as a cherished book from your past.
Becket is an american based author and music producer. He is the personal assistant for international best selling author Anne Rice. He is the co-author of Blood Vivicanti and the soon to be The Word of Brother Josh.
What is Key The Steampunk Vampire Girl & The Floating Mansion all about?
Key is a vampire in the body of a small girl who lives in a large magical floating mansion. It is so large and so mysterious she is always discovering new things and meeting the mystical inhabitants of her home. She is living quite happily when two villains from her past come into her life seeking revenge and they have just the weapon to make her do anything that they want. Enslaved once again she starts on a journey to save everyone from not only those who have her under their thumb but a new creature wreaking havoc on the magical land they live in.
I have followed Becket online for a long time before I started my writing journey, but it wasn't until this year that I really began talking to this wonderful author. I remember talking to him about the beauty of children's books having the ability to use funky fonts while adult books had to go without and how the font he chose for Key's next story was perfect to read! Now, I hold the book in my hands months after he finished writing it. When the book was released I was lucky enough to get a signed copy from Becket himself. Needless to say, I was jumping up and down in full mental meltdown mode (as you can see, I have picked up his love for alliteration).
From the premise I knew straight away I wanted to share this magical experience with my nine year old brother, who is obsessed with magic, vampires and machines. Obviously, this is the perfect book for him! It took a while for me to get through it with him as I aimed to read it to him every night but being employed, 22 years old and a full time student meant I sometimes came home after his bed time. I didn't want to read ahead, though it killed me to wait until we had time to sit and read it together. Now that we were both on holidays at the same time we took advantage and finished it tonight! We were both left with a feeling of wonderment and magic. We had that warm fuzzy feeling you only get when you read the happy ending of a wonderful book. It was so overwhelming that I put a pause on my relaxing night to write this post and share my opinion with all of you!
Firstly, I want to mention Beckets voice coming out through the words. It was very strong and consistent throughout the entire novel. It had an air of mystery and a whimsical tone about it which supported the magical theme of the book. Becket utilised this in the last chapter which wrapped up the entire novel and I felt that this was the perfect way to end Key's story. It gave a storybook feel and took you back to your childhood.
The characterisation was amazing as each character had their own unique voice which bounced off the page. They had clear personalities and were very three dimensional. This great detail in each of the characters traits made me connect to them more and love them. Tudwal the immortal wolf was always the little trooper, very excited and up for anything. Becket made each character memorable which is what you want when you have such an extensive and complex world. The characters were so well written and unique that I even pretended to be an audiobook voice over person making different voices for each character. It was fun, I am pretty good at doing different voices and accents for the characters the way in which I heard them from the page.
What made Key and her floating mansion even greater was the level of imagery and description in the book. Not just physical images from the amazing drawings that the illustrator Raven Quinn had done, but through his words Becket paints a clear picture of his world. I can see in my mind, each mechanical hand coming out of the walls to clean the floating mansion and I can see the the cloud creatures violet lighting thrashing inside its purple haze. It is brilliant. I am still in awe of the crazy and astounding inventions that Becket has come up with! Wow! How he comes up with all that stuff, let alone all their names is a mystery to me.
The only issue I had with the book was the fact that I had difficulty in read it aloud. There was a lot of alliteration which made it wonderful to read in ones head and fit well within the whimsical nature of the story, but I ended up getting muddled up in my speech. This is not really a negative, it made it more funny as sometimes I wouldn't realise I mucked it up until my brother stared at me with a funny look on his face or burst out laughing at my repeated attempts at saying a sentence.
All in all, it was a really enjoyable book and I recommend it to anyone who loves to read children's books like I do or who have children themselves!