Monday, December 14, 2009

The Story of Cirrus Flux

The Story of Cirrus Flux

Written by Matthew Skelton
Published at Puffin Books

About the book

Cirrus is a crazy-haired foundling, an orphan boy who has never known his parents. He has grown up in the care of the Hospital, and in the company of his best friend, Bottle Top. But Bottle Top and Cirrus are soon to be apprenticed to new masters—cunning practitioners of a strange kind of science. Little do they know what sinister mysteries await them…

A phoenix-like bird in a nest guarded by crows, a daring hot-air balloon ride, and a ravishing villain—this is a thrilling and beautifully written tale for readers aged 10 and up. Matthew Skelton is that rare talent: a writer of compulsively readable plots with true literary merit.

Who is Matthew Skelton?
Matthew Skelton was born in the UK but spent most of his childhood in Edmonton, Alberta. He started writing while working as a teaching assistant at the University of Mainz and continued when he came back to Oxford to work as a research assistant. In 2002 he won Richard and Judy's short story competition. Cirrus Flux is his second novel.

My Thoughts
I have mixed feeling after reading this book. Part of me thinks the story has numerous events that would keep a young reader wanting to know what will happen next but at the same time I am saddened to see novels such as these being written for young readers. Part of the book has a taste of new age of the eighteen century since the book revolves around the time when London was craving scientific enlightenment.

Honestly, as much as this is part of history and people got sucked in such a scam, I wonder why children should be exposed to this kind of story. Mind you, the author seemed to have done quite some research to narrate about the things going on back then but part of me feel uneasy around the whole story.

There are mentions of God and the boys have biblical names given to them, while the girl character’s name is Pandora (uh? – Like in Pandora’s Box? Not good). But this is only brushed on in the story and nothing goes deeper than that.

Honestly, while I was reading the novel, I got sick in the stomach from what people would go through to try to find something that will ease their pain... Unfortunately, many children that were abandonment (foundlings) might have been use for such a show. It is sad.

This book is recommended for readers 10 years of age and up but personally I don’t recommend it. I think introducing the children to such a background at that age is unacceptable. Mind you, I think kids that age need to know about injustice in society and so on but being introduced to 18th century new age is just too much.

As for my copy of the book (which was an uncorrected book proof by the way), it found its way to my recycling bin so that the paper can be reused to create a new book... And in case you are wondering, I am not the kind of person who usually throw books away – which would be a shame – but in this case, the story and its background was just too disturbing for me to even consider sending it to a second-hand store.

This review was possible because I received a copy of The Story of Cirrus Flux from Penguin Canada.
The Story of Cirrus Flux available in a bookstore near you.

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