How did I get it?:
I received a copy from the publisher and I bought my own!
Previously reviewed by the same author:
They were coming tonight to tell ghost stories. ‘A tale to freeze the blood,’ was the only rule. Switzerland, 1816. On a stormy summer night, Lord Byron and his guests are gathered round the fire.
Felix, their serving boy, can’t wait to hear their creepy tales.
Yet real life is about to take a chilling turn – more chilling than any tale.
Frantic pounding at the front door reveals a stranger, a girl covered in the most unusual scars.
She claims to be looking for her sister, supposedly snatched from England by a woman called Mary Shelley.
Someone else has followed her here too, she says. And the girl is terrified.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love Emma Carroll’s books. I always find myself pulled into her stories before long and become completely immersed in the world. I thought Strange Star was a fantastic addition to her repetoire. It’s creepy but not too creepy for the middle-grade audience that it is geared towards.
Strange Star is mainly narrated by Lizzie, who appears at Villa Diodati. Felix is serving Lord Byron and his guests including Mary Shelley. Some of the narration is also told by Felix, who we hear from before and after Lizzie tells her tale. Strange Star explores the story of Lizzie’s sister, Peg, who has been taken by Mary Shelley, a scientist. I absolutely loved how Emma Carroll used Frankenstein to explain Lizzie’s story and explore the possible reasons for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was incredibly clever and very compelling.
Emma Carroll is absolutely fantastic at creating characters that I really come to care about. This was especially the case with Lizzie and Peg. I loved reading about the sisters and the special bond that they had with one another. I also really liked Felix and particularly enjoyed reading his narration.
As soon as I started Strange Star, I really didn’t want to put it down. It was a real page turner and a pleasure to read. Strange Star is unnerving without being scary which I really appreciate. I shall certainly be recommending it to the Year 5-6 team at my school (10-11 year olds) as I think they’d lap up this highly atmospheric book!
Would I recommend it?: