Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the free review copy of his book – all opinions are my own.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis. When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition. But Carmer and Grit soon discover they’re not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine – and the combination can be deadly.
In this story perfect for readers of the Lockwood & Co and Wildwood series, Sarah Jean Horwitz takes readers on a thrilling journey through a magical wooded fairyland and steampunk streets where terrifying automata cats lurk in the shadows and a mad scientist’s newest mechanical invention might be more menace than miracle.
I’m just going to come right out and say it: I loved this book. It was such an exciting ride through a fantasy world ripe with magic and adventure. The imagery was fantastic and vivid (I was able to visualize everything so clearly in my mind), and the characters had such neat and contrasting personalities. They had big hearts and a spunk that really added to the excitement of the story. And having two main characters working (mostly) together, one male and one female, was a great decision on Horwitz’s part, in my opinion. Young readers can easily be swayed to read or not read a book if the characters are all boys or all girls, etc, so this cast of characters is a great way to appeal to more potential readers.
As I read Carmer & Grit, I kept thinking to myself that if I loved the story this much as an adult, I can only imagine how blown away I’d have been had I read it as a middle grade youngster. I cannot say enough how fun and exciting it was to get lost in this world of magic, filled with magicians and fairies. There were a few places where the “evil” got a bit dark, which could possibly be a bit scary for younger readers, but overall I think this book will be highly enjoyed by fantasy fans.
Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Book Stats: Hardcover, 368 pages, Algonquin Young Readers, April 25, 2017