Review: Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

by Emma Sewell
by Emma Sewell

Some secrets change the world in a heartbeat.


Book of the Month Cogheart Peter BunzlThis month we picked Cogheart by Peter Bunzl as our Book of the Month. In short, Cogheart is a gripping steampunk adventure in an alternate Victorian England. You’ll find wonderfully written heroes and villains running throughout its pages.

Run through some of them with us now.

Lily’s life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her?

With her friends – Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox – Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realises that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart…

Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure.

Book of the Month Cogheart MalkinA short, but sweet, synopsis for a book that has so much going on between its covers. Our three main heroes really are little works of art in their own rights.

The main characters:

Lily, our leading lady, isn’t like any of the other girls at Miss Octavia Scrimshaw’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies. While the others all walk around balancing books on their heads, she is of the opinion that it is better to read books than balance them.

When it comes to mechanicals she is also very different to the others. They’re friends, companions, not an object to be disrespected.

Malkin is a mechanimal, a fox to be precise, tasked with taking important information to Lily by her father. He does not enjoy the mud and the bushes of his wild namesakes’ habitat. He’s a precision machine, but the needs of his master outweigh his discomfort.

Book of the Month Cogheart CoverRobert aspires to go high into the air in an airship… if he can overcome his fear of heights. Until that day though, he is destined to be an apprentice to his father, who enjoys the quiet life of fixing clocks and musical boxes. Until he sees a mechanical fox being chased into his village by an unnerving group of men.

The villains:

Madame Verdigris, the housekeeper for Lily and her father. Her surname fits her character, as you gradually see her change and develop as the story moves along, trying to envelop Lily’s world.

Mr Roach and his henchmen. Their mirrored eyes looking like glasses at a glance, but to the weary, they are mirrored lenses sewn directly into the sockets where their eyes would be. They’re hunters, they’re enforcers, but are they killers?

What we thought:

The basic storyline is one that all readers are familiar with… main character finds a sidekick/s, goes on an adventure, and challenges the big bad of the story. Cogheart is this, dressed up in a fantastic Victorian dress, gloves and a bonnet. It isn’t like anything I’ve read in quite some time, it’s a great introduction to steampunk for readers.

You’d be right to judge this book by its cover. It’s as beautiful on the inside as it is on the out. (We especially love the GIFs of the book that you can get from Peter Bunzl’s website.)

Check out September’s Book of the Month selection and see the six other great books we selected.

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