ARC Review: Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl
Publisher: North Star Editions
Rating: 4/5 stars
Release date: February 12, 2019


In Cogheart, Lily is pulled out of school when her father goes missing, and the clockwork fox Malkin brings the news that her father was working on a priceless invention that could change the world. With the help of Robert, a clockmaker’s son, she embarks on an adventure to discover her father’s secrets. Full of robotic servants, dirigibles, plenty of clicks and clacks, and villainous mirror-eyed men that seem to be following Lily, this book is a delightful adventure for children.


The first third of this book starts out fairly slowly. It introduces the Victorian steampunk world and sets up the story, but for young readers, it might take a little bit of encouragement to push through the first few chapters until they reach the action. After those first few chapters, this is a fast paced and action-filled story that will certainly appeal to young readers.

It’s so much fun to read about Lily and Robert working together. They go through a lot throughout the story, yet stay loyal to each other and come out the better for it.

However, while the world is new and exciting, the characters and their relationships are, while fun for a light read, nothing new. A girl is in a boarding school, her dad goes missing, and she and her sidekicks have to fight off bad guys and solve a mystery. It works well for a middle grade adventure story, but there isn’t much depth to the characters or their relationships, and it’s been done before.

And then there is Malkin. Malkin was my very favorite part of this book. I want a cute and courageous clockwork fox now. He’s crucial to the plot, and adds a touch of charm to the story.

Other than Malkin, the steampunk world is what makes this adventure story something particularly worthwhile worthwhile and different. Cogheart is set in a Victorian England where everything that moves is clockwork and steam. There are mechanical servants, air-balloons, and mechanimals. Like Malkin.

I received a complimentary copy of Cogheart for review from North Star Editions through Netgalley. This did not impact my review in any way and all opinions expressed are my own.

If You Like

Overall, Cogheart was a fun children’s adventure story that picks up to a fast pace and includes unusual villains, a spunky heroine, and a magnificent mechanical fox.  It will appeal to fans of Escape from Mr. Lenoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, and Fablehaven by Brandon Mull.

Let’s Chat!

Are you going to read Cogheart? Do you like steampunk stories?