Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869
Castles in the Stars, Book #1
By Alex Alice
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
“This one is Jules Verne meets Miyazaki. It’s the space race in 1869 in a kind of alternate past. … When you see the book itself, it’s this big, oversized object with this incredible watercolor comics style, and it’s this really big, epic, sweeping story of a boy following in his mother’s discovery and then opening up the solar system, but in the age of the 1800s. It’s got a kind of steampunk but also a kind of young, classic children’s story feel to it.” (Goodreads)
Being a relative newcomer to the genre, I was delighted to be able to read such an engaging story. Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 follows Séraphin and his father as they travel to a castle in Germany to retrieve the journal of Séraphin’s mother. And possibly find out her fate. You see, she was traveling in a hot air balloon in search of Aether, a substance needed for air travel – but hard to come, when disaster struck and she was never seen again. Only her logbook has surfaced. As expected, the journey of father and son is not without its troubles. It was an enjoyable read.
The illustrations are captivating and certainly captured the essence of what the author was trying to portray (at least I think so).
This novel brought in the past and the future with a flavor of steampunk all in one story. As Séraphin races to get the balloon functional while at the castle, the reader is introduced to a number of engaging characters, whom I hope are in any future books, as they added some depth and humor into the story.
Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 was translated originally from French into English. I found this translation seamless, which makes me happy as at times one can lose the essence of a story that is translated – but not in this case.
The story left enough for this reader to look forward to the second book in the series.