Thursday, June 1

Peter Bunzl - Moonlocket (The Cogheart Adventures #2)

Storm clouds gather over Lily and Robert’s summer when criminal mastermind the Jack of Diamonds appears. For Jack is searching for the mysterious Moonlocket – but that’s not the only thing he wants.

Soon, dark secrets from Robert’s past plunge him into danger, because Jack is playing a cruel game. Lily and Malkin, the mechanical fox, must stay one step ahead before Jack plays his final, deadly, card...

Received with many thanks from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Eight months after their hair-raising adventure in Cogheart, we find Robert at Brackenbridge Manor with Lily, her papa, Malkin and the rest. Things are peaceful until one day they stumble across the mysterious Moonlocket in the ashes of Robert's old home, and what's more, the notorious criminal mastermind, the escapologist Jack Door or Jack of Diamonds as he's known has just broken out of prison- and is on the lookout for the Moonlocket no less! 

Lily, Robert and Malkin soon find themselves in the thick of the most deadly of games. What exactly does the Moonlocket signify? How does Robert figure into all of this? Will Lily and Robert manage to outwit Jack in his own game? We see all this and more in this delightful steampunk adventure.

This time around the author wastes no time in plunging into the adventure- right from Jack's escape to Lily and Robert stumbling across the Moonlocket, things are kept exciting and I was instantly pulled into the story. The surprises kept coming, and the author manages to weave emotion into the proceedings of the story and truly is laudable. We see Robert pining for his da, Lily aching for her mom, we see Lily's papa struggle to protect her against all odds, against her very wishes and we see Lily's conflicting feelings towards this, and all this make us connect to our favourite spunky adventurers more than ever.

The word-building, just like in the first book is very well done. We see various other parts of Victorian London not explored in book one in all their steampunk glory, and the author's touches to this with mechanicals, mechanimals, airships and the likes was, of course, fantastic. 

We have a handful of new characters in this book, with most of the loved ones from the first book being retained as well (Captain Springer, Mrs Rust and the others, I'm pleased to report, were just as wonderful here). However, I was quite a bit bummed that Anna didn't have as important a role here, and I quite missed the mechanicals when things started heating up too. One other rather small complaint I have is that Lily and her papa's conflicts weren't very satisfactorily resolved, but I am quite very happy with how things turned out for Robert- elaborating on this would prove to be very spoiler-y indeed, so I'll hold back here.

Packed full of wonder, magic, mystery and mayhem, Moonlocket is a worthy sequel to the brilliant Cogheart and this is a must-read if you loved the latter!

The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 4/5
The cover: 5/5
Enjoy factor: 5/5

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