Middle Grade on Monday: The Clockwork Crow (#1) – Catherine Fisher

the clockwork crowTravelling to a new home with an unknown new family, orphan Seren Rees is shivering in a Victorian station waiting room, when she is given a mysterious newspaper parcel by a strange and frightened man, who then disappears. Reluctantly she takes it with her… But what is in the parcel? Who are the Family who must not be spoken of, and can the Crow help Seren find Tom, the boy who has been missing for a year and a day, before the owner of the parcel finds her?

This is a very cute and charming little story that almost feels traditional. Seren finds herself living in an empty mansion, ‘adopted’ by an absent family. There is a locked nursery, a missing boy, a strange bell in the night, and of course a clockwork crow. And all of this is set in the week before Christmas with a big snow storm raging outside. The atmosphere is spot on.

I liked Seren. She is brave and curious. Growing up as an orphan has made her humble and grateful, not luckily not overly so that she doesn’t dare speak her mind if something isn’t to her liking. I wished we got to learn a bit more about her background, but maybe this happens later in the series.

And that is my only problem with this book, it is a bit too simple. What there is is great, but I wanted more. And there was definitely space for that, as my version of this story was only 180 pages long. Especially the rescue mission could have been a lot longer, with some more about ‘The Family’.

This is a great setup for the series, but can also easily be read as a standalone. I am very curious where the second book is going to take us, but I am sure it will be magical once again.

3 thoughts on “Middle Grade on Monday: The Clockwork Crow (#1) – Catherine Fisher

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