This month, I planned to feature one of the books I’ve loved for a long time. Instead, I decided to tell you about the book I just finished reading: The Electrical Menagerie, by Mollie E. Reader.
Why the change of plans? Because this book is simply magical.
The Electrical Menagerie is perplexingly difficult to describe. It mixes fantasy and science fiction with heavy early-1900s, steampunk vibes and a good dash of wonder. The story takes place in a world unlike any I’ve ever encountered, either on the page or on screen: A “world” made of landmasses floating in the sky, circled by stars. I loved the subtle ways this impacted the characters’ ways of thinking, such as referring to the sun as the “Principle Star.”
In this world, electricity and mechanics take on an almost-magical quality; robots have personalities and can do fascinating things. This, combined with the two protagonists, breathed wonder across the page.
The protagonists are refreshing and lovable: Sylvester Carthage, a middle-aged man with a childlike perspective and remarkable talent for invention, and Arbrook Huxley, a clever, world-wise twenty-something with something to prove to his family and himself. Their partnership-turned-friendship was the heart and soul of this book. I’m confident that I will read any further works in this series simply because of the amazing character dynamics. On top of that, both Carthage and Huxley grew in believable, character-consistent ways throughout the story and were the driving forces in the plot.
It’s rare to find a book that appeals to both my inner child, searching for imagination and creativity and literary friends, and my inner author, searching for well-written stories with dynamic characters and compelling plots. The Electrical Menagerie did both masterfully, and is now near the top of my personal “Recommend to All the People” book list.
You can join Carthage and Huxley on a memorable adventure (aka purchase The Electrical Menagerie) here.
What book have you recently read and fallen in love with? Tell me your recommendations in the comments :)