Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix (a review)

Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers, illustrated by Kelly MurphyOn September 5, 1928 ten-year-old Nathaniel Fludd’s parents are declared lost at sea. Alone in the world with no other close relatives and a governess eager to abscond with her Tidy Sum from the Fludd estate, Nathaniel is sent to live with Phil A. Fludd–a mysterious cousin Nate has never met, let alone heard of in Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers with illustrations by Kelly Murphy.

It turns out an eccentric cousin is the first of many things his parents never told him about. The Fludds come from a long line of Beastologists: explorers who travel the world documenting and protecting rare beasts the world has long forgotten, including one rather unique bird that resides with Nate’s eccentric cousin.

When Nate is whisked off with his Beastologist kin, he finds himself in a world of adventure traveling to Arabia to ensure the safe hatching of the world’s only Phoenix.

But no one said being a Beastologist was easy. When trouble strikes Nate is once again all alone faced with the daunting tasks of protecting the Phoenix egg (and his secret pet Gremlin) while hatching a clever plot to rescue his guardian from the Bedouin.

The book comes equipped with a glossary of real (and imagined) terms to help readers better make sense of the Steampunk world of Beastologists and the era of 1928 which create a unique

Flight of the Phoenix is a brilliant story. LaFevers’ writing is charming. She evokes Nathaniel’s world with wit and humor that is complemented well by Murphy’s endearing illustrations. Together the two provide a strong opening to what I hope will be a long series of books.

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