Like most books, at the back of this one there’s acknowledgements to various people who have supported Lucy Hope in bringing her debut Fledgling to life. The one that caught my eye was the thank you to her friend for telling her for 30 years to write a novel and that Lucy was glad she finally listened. So am I! Fledgling is a page-turning adventure, totally different in feel to anything I’ve read for ages. Publishing on 4th November by Nosy Crow, this story transports you to a gothic world full of magic and wonder – and some very strange happenings…
Fledgling by Lucy Hope
When a cherub is blown into Cassie Engel’s bedroom during a thunderstorm, triggering a series of terrifying events, Cassie must discover if its arrival was an accident or part of something more sinister. With a self-obsessed opera singer for a mother, a strange taxidermist father, and a best friend who isn’t quite what he seems, Cassie is forced to unearth the secrets of her family’s past. As the dark forces gather around them, can Cassie protect a;; that she holds dear?
There is so much to enjoy in this novel. From the first page you are drawn into Cassie’s world, her eccentric family, her home filled with stuffed owls and her friendship with the enigmatic Raphael. I was fascinated by the cherub too and the strange connection it forms with Cassie as she tries to uncover the truth of it’s arrival. As the plot thickens (and it really does), we see the true genius of her family home which has it’s own engine room and the reality of the sinister Sturmfalken (enough to make anyone get the jitters).
Family secrets abound, and as Cassie discovers more about the past, her future seems more in danger. A truly unexpected plot twist made me gasp out loud and Cassie must summon all her courage to overcome the inevitable and save her family as best she can. I read this story in one sitting; it really is utterly engaging and whilst the dark forces threaten to overwhelm, thankfully there is enough light to give hope. A really brilliant debut.
Find out more at www.nosycrow.com. With thanks to Nosy Crow for sending a proof copy of this book to review.