Author(s): Vashti Hardy
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Publication date: Out now
In Medlock, machines don’t come to life – life comes to machines.
A secretive guild of inventors have brought spirits of the dead back into the world, harnessing them in animal-like machines.
Young Prue has joined as an apprentice, but she’s on a mission of her own: to bring her brother back to life. To find him, she needs to get the ghost machines to remember the people they used to be…Taken from Vashti Hardy’s website
Welcome to Medlock. Home to a guild of inventors (and their apprentices), the Gigantrak, Personifates, and Mechanimals. Oh, and a forest – but you might want to stay out of there; you never know what’s hiding amongst the trees.
And then there’s Prue. Resourceful, intelligent, and skilful. When her brother passes away and is unable to take a place at the guild, Prue seizes the opportunity to put her skills to use, and maybe even bring her brother back to the world.
Wildspark is probably one of the most stunning middle-grade books I’ve ever read. It really blew me away with the world building and character development. The premise is so well considered and unique; Hardy clearly has a remarkable ability to create not just stories but worlds.
This book is first and foremost a tale of fantasy set in a fantastical world. But it also challenges gender stereotypes. Both men and women are referred to as ‘masters’ of their craft. Women are unquestioningly technicians, mathematicians, and engineers.
It also touches on the subject of grief – the desperation, the longing, the need and want of missing someone you love. The subject of grief is handled gently but honestly; there are no miracles here, only honesty and love.
I couldn’t put this book down and if you take the time to read this wonderful adventure story, you will have the same challenge. Funny, perilous, beautiful – Wildspark is a gem.
Many thanks to Scholastic UK for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can support your local bookshop by buying Wildspark through them directly, or via Hive.
What do you think of Wildspark? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.