Kip is a student a Quicksmiths College of Strange Energy, a very special school where the kids study magical energies, and the school’s research is based on the work and discoveries of Eartha Quicksmith, a genius who lived four hundred years earlier. But where you have magical and incredible items, or even cryptic clues to discovering them, you also attract villains who wish to acquire these same items.
Full disclosure – I didn’t realise this was the second book in the series until I started it. The story opens with a visit by our protagonist Kip and best friend Albert to Professor Streampunk’s lab, full of hovering drones, an ark of ideas that looks like a black parrot, waves of Strange Energy, and a professor who blew up his arms in an experiment only to build himself four new ones. It’s a crazy, hugely imaginative, fun world, and I really enjoyed the adventures of Kip and his friends as they attempt to unravel Eartha’s clues to her greatest inventions and discoveries, which takes an unexpected turn when Kip and his friend Timmi fall among the myriads…
The friends’ camaraderie is endearing, I loved Pinky the squirrel and the mowl, who is some kind of otter-bird of prey mix created by an experiment going wrong…I think! The kids have wonderful miniature flying carpets they call Skimmis, which they have made themselves as part of their classes, which I envied.
I strongly recommend reading book one first. I caught up very easily on the world, but it would be more fun to discover it with Kip, especially as it is a high concept fantasy. Also, the second book gives away much of the plot of the first (for good reason). I thought the story was a little slow to get going, which I didn’t mind because it helped me really get into this world, but I also didn’t realise at first that puzzle solving is a big element (which I would know if I had read book 1). For me, much as I enjoyed the early part of the book, the story really took off once Kip and Timmi fall into the first of the alternative myriads.
Overall a hugely imaginative fun story which I totally recommend.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, Firefly Press, for an eARC of this fun book.
TOTP and I award The Myriad Mysteries of Eartha Quicksmith 9 out of 10 Diamonds