Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Patrick Samphire
Illustrator: Jeremy Holmes
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Edward Sullivan wants to be a spy like the ones he reads about in his magazine, but when he gets involved in adventures like spies have, he might change his mind. When Edward's family is kidnapped by the archaeologist Sir Titus Dane, who wants to use Edward's father to build him an invention to find a dragon tomb full of Ancient Martian treasures, Edward, his sisters, and their cousin with a suspicious background travel across the Martian wilderness to rescue their family. Always resigned to being the practical one in a family of eccentrics, Edward is willing to do whatever it takes to find his family, even if it involves more adventure than he ever bargained for. Edward and the crew run into villainous enemies, native Martians, illnesses, and, of course, a dragon tomb and the mysteries inside.
This steampunk alternate history book will delight intermediate readers and anyone who is intrigued by fun adventures and delightful characters. With every new chapter comes more delights and adventure in a world that both science fiction and fantasy fans will enjoy. The sibling relationships in the book are done well, each sibling having their own strengths and weaknesses and different relationships with each other. Their cousin Frederick is full of mystery, but the more Edward and the reader learn about him, the more charming he becomes. The steampunk historical aspect is a treat and will likely remind history-loving readers of the British empire's reaction to other societies, particularly Egypt and Egypt's tombs. Many readers will enjoy this book and it's clockwork automatic servants, spaceships, dragon tombs, spies, pterodactyls, and plenty of adventure.