The Eye of the North
When Emmeline's scientist parents mysteriously disappear, she finds herself heading for a safe house, where allies have pledged to protect her. But along the way, she is kidnapped by the villainous Doctor Siegfried Bauer, who is bound for the ice fields of Greenland. There he hopes to summon a mystical creature from the depths of the ancient glaciers, a creature said to be so powerful that whoever controls it can control the world. Unfortunately, Bauer isn't the only one determined to unleash the creature. The North Witch has laid claim to the mythical beast, too, and Emmeline along with a scrappy stowaway named Thing may be the only one with the power to save the world as we know it. Can Emmeline face one of the greatest legends of all time and live to tell the tale?

The Eye of the North Details

TitleThe Eye of the North
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 22nd, 2017
PublisherKnopf
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fiction

The Eye of the North Review

  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was a lovely little adventure story with hints of steampunk and a plucky female heroine. Emmeline's parents are missing, and Emmeline herself has been kidnapped by a man determined to unleash a centaur so powerful it can rule the world. Can Emmeline, and stowaway Thing, save everyone from impending doom in the icy backdrop of Greenland?This was a good middle school read. The writing was well paced, and easy to follow. I liked I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was a lovely little adventure story with hints of steampunk and a plucky female heroine. Emmeline's parents are missing, and Emmeline herself has been kidnapped by a man determined to unleash a centaur so powerful it can rule the world. Can Emmeline, and stowaway Thing, save everyone from impending doom in the icy backdrop of Greenland?This was a good middle school read. The writing was well paced, and easy to follow. I liked Emmeline, and thought she was a good lead character. She's inventive, brave and adventurous. I was also taken by Thing, who provided the enigmatic sidekick element to the story perfectly. As the story progresses, we see more of Things POV, which I thought was clever and added another dimension to the character. The main villain was also good, and was on the right side of sinister for this level of story. It's the descriptions I most liked however. It's perfect to read at this time of year, and had a distinct wintery feel as Emmeline and Thing race towards a glacier to save the world. How've, I would say that the story sometimes lent more on the side of superficial. Because of th fast pace, most characters suffer from being one dimensional. The one exception, as stated before, is Thing. A decent middle grade read.
    more
  • Vishnu Chevli
    January 1, 1970
    Was not able to attach to story. DNF at 15%
  • Jade Ratley
    January 1, 1970
    So nearly 5 stars, so so nearly.This was utterly fantastic, I loved this a whole heck of a lot.
  • Carina Olsen
    January 1, 1970
    I really wish I could say that I loved this book. Sigh. Because it sounds just like a book that I could love. And that cover is truly gorgeous. And I love middle grade and fantasy so much. Sadly, this one was a bit disappointing. I felt like maybe I could have loved it, had it been written a bit differently. It just wasn't for me.I mean, there were parts of this book I liked a lot. But there were more parts that I didn't really like at all. I didn't hate any of it, but I mostly found this to be I really wish I could say that I loved this book. Sigh. Because it sounds just like a book that I could love. And that cover is truly gorgeous. And I love middle grade and fantasy so much. Sadly, this one was a bit disappointing. I felt like maybe I could have loved it, had it been written a bit differently. It just wasn't for me.I mean, there were parts of this book I liked a lot. But there were more parts that I didn't really like at all. I didn't hate any of it, but I mostly found this to be boring. I did not care for the characters like I was supposed to. I didn't think it was written well enough. I liked the creatures, but they weren't such a big part of this book.This tells the story about Emmeline and Thing. They are both around twelve years old, I think. While I enjoyed reading about Emmeline, I didn't really care for her at all. She seemed rude at times and I just didn't feel like I got to know her at all. Which was disappointing. I felt like she could have been a great character. Sigh. I did, however, like Thing a lot. Well, except for his name. But I liked even less when he starts using a different name near the end of the book. Ugh. Found that to be just silly. But yeah, Thing was an interesting character. He had a tragic past, which I was curious about, though the reveal wasn't good at all. Ugh. Thing has something wrong with his lungs, which I was even more curious about, yet I never got to learn the reason for. Sigh.This book starts with Emmeline finding out that her parents have been kidnapped, and are most likely dead. She's then told she has to leave right away to some woman in Paris, and stay there until she is eighteen. Uhm. And she just leaves, right away too. Felt a bit weird to me. Oh, well. She's going on a big ship, and there she meets a boy, Thing. I guess they were supposed to become best friends, or whatever, but I didn't feel that way at all, sadly. They don't talk much in the day they get to know each other. Sigh.And then Emmeline gets kidnapped herself. And so she and Thing spend most of the book away from each other. Which I didn't like at all. I thought I would get to read about a lovely friendship in this book. But that wasn't the case, sadly. They knew each other for about a day. And they didn't seem all that close, to be honest. But they both didn't have any friends before, so I guess they got close because of that. I don't know. But because of this, Thing wants to rescue her when she gets taken, and he tries his best. I'm not sure what to say about this book. I wanted an epic friendship. Instead they are apart almost all the time. They both spend time with adults. And so this book wasn't nearly as fun as it could have been, aw. I wanted to so much more. There were the adults, which I sadly found to be written really badly. Emotional about things that didn't make much sense at all. I could have cared for them all, I think, if only they had been a bit more realistic. Sadly, I didn't really care for any of the characters in this book. So disappointing.While these two kids aren't together in the book, they both have two adventures. I suppose I was curious about what would happen with them both, but I didn't really care much. A lot of things seemed a bit over the top, a bit too much. Sigh. This book is about the person who kidnapped Emmeline wanting to wake an ancient creature. And control the world. Which could have been exciting, except it wasn't. Didn't even get to know the villain at all. Why did he even want to live forever and wake up this creature? I have no idea.Overall, I am glad that I gave this book a try. I did enjoy some parts of it. I didn't like the ending, sadly. But I liked some of the creatures, like the horses. So yay. But mostly this book was disappointing. Aw. Giving it two stars. Wishing I could have loved it more. Oh, well. I do think others should try it, though. Hope that many kids might enjoy it a lot. Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC to review while I was in Chicago. While I didn't love it, I'm glad that I tried it. It is gorgeous. If you do read it, let me know.---This review was first posted on my blog, Carina's Books, here: http://carinabooks.blogspot.no/2017/0...
    more
  • Kieran Fanning
    January 1, 1970
    This review first appeared on the Middle Grade Strikes Back website.When Emmeline’s parents (zoologists who specialise in unusual creatures) are kidnapped, she is put on a ship, bound for a safe-house in Paris. On board, she meets a boy called Thing (a scruffy stowaway orphan); and an unlikely friendship forms between them. But the criminals who kidnapped Emmeline’s parents soon catch up with her and whisk her off to the frozen north to be used as bargaining chip by the deranged Dr. Bauer who wa This review first appeared on the Middle Grade Strikes Back website.When Emmeline’s parents (zoologists who specialise in unusual creatures) are kidnapped, she is put on a ship, bound for a safe-house in Paris. On board, she meets a boy called Thing (a scruffy stowaway orphan); and an unlikely friendship forms between them. But the criminals who kidnapped Emmeline’s parents soon catch up with her and whisk her off to the frozen north to be used as bargaining chip by the deranged Dr. Bauer who wants Emmeline’s parents to awaken a mysterious creature, asleep beneath the ice. Determined to save his friend, Thing seeks help from a secret organisation called the The Order of the White Flower. Together, they set off on Emmeline’s trail, but when they are attacked, Thing must continue the journey alone.What follows is a white-knuckled race towards a glacier in Greenland, with the perspective constantly shifting between Emmeline and Thing. Along the way, they meet many weird and wonderful characters, including magical creatures, some friendly and some not. The plot is perfectly paced, building in momentum with every turn of the page until the reader is hurtled into an edge-of-the-seat climax.The absence of modern paraphernalia gives O’ Hart’s steampunk world a classic and timeless feel. The scope of her imagination and inventiveness is breath-taking, as indeed is the writing. I loved the character of Emmeline – a bookish, brave but nervous, particular (with a touch of OCD!) girl; or in the words of Dr. Bauer – ‘a singular little creature.’ The more rough-around-the-edges Thing is an ideal foil to her – he’s spontaneous, upbeat and funny, with a dark backstory. This book is pure middle-grade gold, pitched perfectly in tone at its audience. It is sure to be lapped up by boys and girls alike. This impressive debut is my first 5 star read of 2017. I hope it’s a huge hit. It certainly deserves to be!Now, in the words of Thing himself: ‘Let the adventurin’ begin’.
    more
  • Nigel
    January 1, 1970
    I dislike reading books on computer, or, indeed phone, once the PDF has been converted to whatever it is that phones let you read, but the advanced digital copy of this book overcame that prejudice and had me scrolling bleary-eyed through screen after screen in breathless pursuit of Emmeline and Thing as they embarked on their perilous journeys. A fun and riotous mix of steampunk mad science and mythological fantasy set in the far frozen north, I was instantly reminded of the writings of Joan Ai I dislike reading books on computer, or, indeed phone, once the PDF has been converted to whatever it is that phones let you read, but the advanced digital copy of this book overcame that prejudice and had me scrolling bleary-eyed through screen after screen in breathless pursuit of Emmeline and Thing as they embarked on their perilous journeys. A fun and riotous mix of steampunk mad science and mythological fantasy set in the far frozen north, I was instantly reminded of the writings of Joan Aiken and Philip Pullman, but O'Hart stamps her own style on this old-school tale of high adventure.Emmeline grows up in an unusual household. Her scientist parents have a rather detached, hands-off approach to child-rearing, leaving their young daughter to learn by herself the skills and instincts necessary to survive the various extremely dangerous living specimens lurking around the house and its environs. These skills stand her in good stead when her parents vanish and she is dispatched to Paris across the rising seas. Despite her tendency to assume everyone she meets is trying to kill her, she befriends a stowaway who calls himself Thing and helps her elude a gang of thugs intent on kidnapping her. Ultimately, the thugs succeed, and Emmeline is carried away on a north-bound ship, but Thing and others are in pursuit, and the mad scientist with an eye on immortality is underestimating his captive. This just rushes along from twist to turn, from wonder to cliffhanger, with a thoroughly engaging pair of protagonists to cheer on and a truly horrible set of villains to boo and hiss at. Lovely writing and a fertile imagination in a unique setting make this a truly enjoyable read.
    more
  • The Librarian Witch
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really great middle-grade read. The characters were relatable and likeable, and the story was fast paced and exciting. We jumped from action to action constantly throughout the book, never once getting the chance to get bored with the story. The tale is told through different points of view, as our main characters spend a lot of the book in different locations, struggling with their own separate problems and dangers. This gave the story a good pace and forced me to say “just one more This was a really great middle-grade read. The characters were relatable and likeable, and the story was fast paced and exciting. We jumped from action to action constantly throughout the book, never once getting the chance to get bored with the story. The tale is told through different points of view, as our main characters spend a lot of the book in different locations, struggling with their own separate problems and dangers. This gave the story a good pace and forced me to say “just one more page” far often than was good for my bedtime, due to the enticing cliffhangers we were always left with. I especially loved all the mythology and folklore that was mixed into the story, and am excited for more in the next instalment (unicorns? Dragons?!). I would have liked to spend more time getting to know some of the magical creatures in this book, and hope we get a bit more information and detail next time. Overall, this is a lovely little adventure filled with humour, friendship, perils, excitement, magic, and lots and lots of snow. Definitely worth a read.
    more
  • Karina
    January 1, 1970
    When Emmeline becomes an orphan, she is packed off on a ship to Paris for 'safety'. But fate has other plans for her than being safe, and she must battle impossible odds (with the help of her friends) in order to save herself - and possibly the world itself...A roller-coaster ride of adventure, danger, zeppelins, kraken, mad scientists, kidnap attempts and impending ecological disaster.
    more
  • Dreximgirl
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun, quick and easy read. I loved the characters (especially Thing) and the plot was engaging and kept me reading. There were elements of steampunk and fantasy which worked really well and I'm really looking forward to more from this author.
    more
  • Lghiggins
    January 1, 1970
    The Eye of the North is a fantasy adventure tale intended for children in grades three through seven. The interest level would be appropriate for that range and maybe a little higher, but the reading level is too high for most third graders as it contains some fairly advanced vocabulary. It would make a good read aloud with a parent. The chapters are short. Within each chapter, when the two main characters are apart, the story jumps from one character to the other in a well-defined fashion which The Eye of the North is a fantasy adventure tale intended for children in grades three through seven. The interest level would be appropriate for that range and maybe a little higher, but the reading level is too high for most third graders as it contains some fairly advanced vocabulary. It would make a good read aloud with a parent. The chapters are short. Within each chapter, when the two main characters are apart, the story jumps from one character to the other in a well-defined fashion which keeps the plot moving and the reader involved in the action of both characters. The main character is Emmeline Widget whose parents are immersed in secret scientific research which endangers both them and their daughter. The storyline follows Emmeline’s adventures through apparent abandonment, solo sea travel, kidnapping, attacks and rescues by extraordinary creatures, and near death experiences. Along the way she meets Thing, a most unusual and self-sufficient boy. She saves his life and he repays her by following her north to lands of snow and ice to rescue her.I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Random House (Knopf Books for Young Readers) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Lillian
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.The Eye of the North by Sinéad O'Hart is an exciting adventure about a girl as she looks for her parents. I’ve never been much of a middle-grade reader. Even when I was a middle-grader, I didn’t read these books. I don’t know why, but they never interested. However, The Eye of the North caught my attention immediately.Emmeline is an interesting character. She’s a young gir I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.The Eye of the North by Sinéad O'Hart is an exciting adventure about a girl as she looks for her parents. I’ve never been much of a middle-grade reader. Even when I was a middle-grader, I didn’t read these books. I don’t know why, but they never interested. However, The Eye of the North caught my attention immediately.Emmeline is an interesting character. She’s a young girl who isn’t close to her parents, but loves them nonetheless. Their work keeps her in constant fear for her life. She’s been raised not to trust others and so she doesn’t, not even them. When they are kidnapped and presumed killed, she is sent away to France, but on the boat trip someone is trying to take her as well. I liked Emmeline. She’s resourceful, and for a girl who trusts no one she attracts many friends.Thing (yes, that’s his name) is my favorite character and quickly grows on Emmeline as well. He is around her age, possibly older. He isn’t sure as he is an orphan/runaway, living off the streets and currently stowing away on the same boat as Emmeline. Thing sees her as a distraction and a way to pass the time on the boat, but when her life is in danger he quickly becomes her rescuer and partner in crime. He’s brave, rash, and a quick thinker, but also fiercely loyal which made me love him.The plot of the story revolves around Emmeline’s parents’ secret work. What is it they really do and why have they been kidnapped? The more Em discovers, the more she realizes how little she really knew her parents. I enjoyed the twists and turns as Em discovers more and more. Then about a third of the way into the story her and Thing are separated and the story is told from both their perspectives, basically like two stories running parallel to each other. It made for an exciting read and some dramatic irony as the reader finds out things before the characters.Overall I really enjoyed this book! While I liked Emmeline, I loved Thing. They make a great a team! But perhaps the reason I enjoyed this so much was the writing style. The author’s writing reminds me a lot of C.S Lewis’s writing in The Chronicles of Narnia. It was like the narrator who is outside of the story is talking to you about what the characters are experiencing, a little formal but intriguing. If you enjoy middle grade fantasy with a dash of steampunk, I highly recommend it.
    more
  • Laura Noakes
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great, old-fashioned quest into the frozen north. I really enjoyed the mystery and secrets of Emmeline’s parents, the discovery of OSCAR, and the friendship and devotion between Emmeline and Thing (Can ya tell I love middle-grade friendship? I’ve only mentioned it in ALL THREE REVIEWS)This story felt timeless and classic, but at the same time it was SO exciting–it was action packed, in the best way possible.I adored the mythology–it felt fresh, and yet so rich, which is SO difficult t This was a great, old-fashioned quest into the frozen north. I really enjoyed the mystery and secrets of Emmeline’s parents, the discovery of OSCAR, and the friendship and devotion between Emmeline and Thing (Can ya tell I love middle-grade friendship? I’ve only mentioned it in ALL THREE REVIEWS)This story felt timeless and classic, but at the same time it was SO exciting–it was action packed, in the best way possible.I adored the mythology–it felt fresh, and yet so rich, which is SO difficult to do well in MG fiction.I also really enjoyed the animal-human relationships–there was such kindness and understanding–especially between Emmeline and Meadowmane.Also, the villain, Doctor Siegfried Bauer, was scarily great.This was a great debut novel, and I am SO excited to see what Sinead O’Hart writes next (a sequel, maybe?) If you like brave girls, a secret society and magical creatures, you’ll love The Eye of the North.
    more
  • Kayleigh Cyphus
    January 1, 1970
    From the very first line of this wonderful book I was hooked; Sinéad O'Hart has created some brilliant characters with a storyline that keeps you turning page after page! The Eye of the North is definitely set to be one of the top middle grade releases of 2018!In this steampunk adventure, we start by meeting Emmeline, our feisty heroine as she learns that her parents have mysteriously disappeared. Suddenly, her life is turned upside down and we find ourselves aboard a ship, sailing off towards f From the very first line of this wonderful book I was hooked; Sinéad O'Hart has created some brilliant characters with a storyline that keeps you turning page after page! The Eye of the North is definitely set to be one of the top middle grade releases of 2018!In this steampunk adventure, we start by meeting Emmeline, our feisty heroine as she learns that her parents have mysteriously disappeared. Suddenly, her life is turned upside down and we find ourselves aboard a ship, sailing off towards further mystery and adventure!The Eye of the North is perfect for fans of Cogheart, A Place Called Perfect and The Sinclair's Mysteries (to name a few!) and thoroughly deserves to be at the top of people's reading lists for 2018!
    more
  • Cat
    January 1, 1970
    Not exactly what I was expecting and a bit disappointed. The book just didn't work for me. But that doesn't mean middle grade kids, 5th and up, wouldn't enjoy it! I tried to get into the story, but I'm not its demographic. Sorry. I received a Kindle ARC in exchange fro a fair review from Netgalley.
    more
  • Charlotte Holmans
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so awesome!!! I loved it!!
  • Ben Trevail
    January 1, 1970
    What a Kracken adventure! Thoroughly enjoyable with a scintillating climactic ending. Recommended.
  • Seawood
    January 1, 1970
    I received this free as a UK pre-publication review copy through NetGalley as an ebook, and read it in tandem with a librarian colleague in Canada reading the US version. This has not influenced my review.What a ride! This is top end middle-grade, so I'll be recommending it to my confident readers from Y5 and then Y6/7 classes (children from 10-12+). It's exhilarating. We start out with a creeping, Snickett-esque atmosphere where you just *know* something awful is about to happen to Emmeline. Th I received this free as a UK pre-publication review copy through NetGalley as an ebook, and read it in tandem with a librarian colleague in Canada reading the US version. This has not influenced my review.What a ride! This is top end middle-grade, so I'll be recommending it to my confident readers from Y5 and then Y6/7 classes (children from 10-12+). It's exhilarating. We start out with a creeping, Snickett-esque atmosphere where you just *know* something awful is about to happen to Emmeline. Then it all lurches towards the Lovecraftian when Emmeline's parents go missing - a whirlwind of travel, plots, a sweet cheeky boy called Thing, layer upon layer of secret societies, weird adults, mad scientists, revenge, greed, ancient myth, the end of the world and AIRSHIPS! It's not quite steampunk but definitely that sort of atmosphere - planes and telephones are not in evidence, which means the suspense can be drawn out really well. It's a world where climate change is clearly in effect - I would like to have seen more of the backplot of that and I'm hoping O'Hart sets some more stories in this universe to explore the effect of those rising seas in more detail.The two main characters are fantastic. I love the fact that Emmeline isn't a perfect, brilliant heroine who's good at everything. She's gained her survival skills through a challenging childhood and being a rather fearful overthinker (hello, myself) - her disaster planning, situational awareness and sheer practicality is what saves the day over and over again. Thing is adorable - a sweet, funny boy with a loyal heart as big as Greenland itself. Watch carefully for the resolution of his backstory and disability - it's very subtle and hurried readers will miss it in the final scenes. Take your time over the final chapters and really savour them. My only small criticism is that I would have liked to have seen the villains fleshed out a bit more, but this is very common with debut novels and it doesn't spoil the story at all. I just want to know ALL the details!If you liked A Place Called Perfect, Mold and the Poison Plot, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Cogheart and/or you're a fan of Norse mythology, this will go down very well. Absolutely one to put on your TBR pile as soon as it comes out.
    more
  • Michelle Kidwell
    January 1, 1970
    The Eye of the Northby Sinead O'HartRandom House Children'sKnopf Books for Young ReadersChildren's FictionPub Date 22 Aug 2017 | Emmeline finds herself headed to the north where allies have pledge to protect her after her scientist parents mysteriously dissapear. Doctor Siegfried Bauer is bound for the ice fields of Greenland where he hopes to summon the Mystical Creature said to be found in the depths of the ancient glaciers. A creature believed to be so powerful whoever controls it can control The Eye of the Northby Sinead O'HartRandom House Children'sKnopf Books for Young ReadersChildren's FictionPub Date 22 Aug 2017 | Emmeline finds herself headed to the north where allies have pledge to protect her after her scientist parents mysteriously dissapear. Doctor Siegfried Bauer is bound for the ice fields of Greenland where he hopes to summon the Mystical Creature said to be found in the depths of the ancient glaciers. A creature believed to be so powerful whoever controls it can control the world. The North Witch has also laid claim to the beast and Emmeline and a scrappy stowaway named the Thing must stop them in order to save the world? Will they be able to?Find out in The Eye of The North.The perfect read for YA readers who love adventure!Five out of five stars.Happy Reading!
    more
  • T.J. Burns
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Random House Children's Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderfully paced story that balances both the emotional and the tension perfectly. It's one of those books you read in one sitting, it really is a fantastic read and an amazing debut from this author. Really can't wait for the next one!
  • Ekta
    January 1, 1970
    After her parents disappear, a young girl gets kidnapped too. As she tries to figure out who would want to kidnap her family and why, she will also have to try to make sense of other events that have greater implications for the world at large. Author Sinead O’Hart tackles climate change and mythical creatures all with a plucky protagonist in her mostly likable debut novel The Eye of the North.Emmeline Widget can take care of herself. Her parents, scientists, spend most of their time on expediti After her parents disappear, a young girl gets kidnapped too. As she tries to figure out who would want to kidnap her family and why, she will also have to try to make sense of other events that have greater implications for the world at large. Author Sinead O’Hart tackles climate change and mythical creatures all with a plucky protagonist in her mostly likable debut novel The Eye of the North.Emmeline Widget can take care of herself. Her parents, scientists, spend most of their time on expeditions away from home, so much so that Emmeline carries around a satchel at all times full of survival essentials. She’s also read countless books on techniques and tools to help her out of almost any problem.Her informal training may truly benefit her, Emmeline discovers, when she receives a mysterious letter from her mother. The letter states that if Emmeline is reading the words on the page, in all likelihood her parents have been kidnapped. For her own safety, the letter continues, Emmeline should leave her home immediately and travel to Paris. There she should go to the address included in the letter, ask for a Madame Blancheflour, and live with the woman until the age of 18.Satchel in hand, Emmeline boards a ship bound for France. There she meets a stowaway who calls himself Thing because, he explains, that’s how everyone has always addressed him. Within hours of getting on the ship, Emmeline finds out that someone—or several someones—want to kidnap her as well. She and Thing do their best to evade capture, but the inevitable happens: Emmeline gets snatched from the deck by a Dr. Siegfried Bauer.With the world’s topography changing dramatically, Dr. Bauer wants immortality. After decades of research, he has discovered he can call forth the Kraken in Greenland. Anyone who summons the Kraken and offers a living sacrifice can command the beast and utilize its powers, including those that make it live forever. Dr. Bauer set Emmeline’s parents with the actual task of drawing the Kraken out of its glacial home; Emmeline will serve as the sacrifice.All is not lost, however. Thing begins working on a plan to save Emmeline. He meets a bevy of friends along the way who help him in his quest, and he lives through some adventures himself. As both Emmeline and Thing travel to Greenland, they will have to contend with what awakening the Kraken means not only for them personally but also for the rest of the world.Author Sinead O’Hart’s debut novel zips along at a fast clip once Emmeline gets kidnapped by Dr. Bauer. Much of the action before her kidnapping feels like filler, however. The book begins just as Emmeline receives her mother’s letter. As soon as she’s done reading, the butler informs Emmeline she has five minutes to grab anything extra (he’s already packed her bags, of course,) before they must drive to the dock. The jarring start to the book requires a great deal of suspension of belief, and the lack of plausibility might discourage more advanced readers.The introduction of Thing, too, doesn’t exactly make one warm up to him right away. Eventually, however, readers will grow to like him as much as Emmeline does, and O’Hart does an admirable job of keeping his back story just out of reach until it’s absolutely needed. Until that moment late in the book, though, readers will have to content themselves with accepting the fact that Thing is a resourceful orphan who is just nosy enough to follow Emmeline and then rescue her.On a larger scale, O’Hart’s book feels like it’s reaching for too many things all at once. Roundabout mentions in passing of massive climate change may provoke curiosity and questions, but they don’t receive much attention. O’Hart ropes in fabled creatures, a la the Kraken (and others that get a rushed mention at the end,) but their inclusion feels more like a bid to appeal to the younger end of the target audience. A witch pops up briefly, almost as if items on a checklist needed ticking. In many other places, the mechanics of the action are entirely unclear and some of the characters come across as placeholders.For readers who don’t mind putting aside a little bit of logic and who can enjoy an adventure for adventure’s sake, The Eye of the North might be worth a read. I recommend readers Borrow The Eye of the North.
    more
  • Steph Warren
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free review copy of this novel via NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*I’m all excited to be writing this review, as I absolutely loved this book and was sorry to put it down!This the book I wanted Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials series to be: an epic children’s adventure, steampunk-ish style, but where I clinically enjoyed Lyra’s adventures with no real emotional investment, I immediately engaged with The Eye of the North and almost cheered/gasped/groaned *I received a free review copy of this novel via NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*I’m all excited to be writing this review, as I absolutely loved this book and was sorry to put it down!This the book I wanted Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials series to be: an epic children’s adventure, steampunk-ish style, but where I clinically enjoyed Lyra’s adventures with no real emotional investment, I immediately engaged with The Eye of the North and almost cheered/gasped/groaned aloud as events unfolded.The opening sentence of this book is arresting, and the early chapters reminded me somewhat of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. I found I instantly empathised with Emmeline (one of my favourite fictional characters is the archaeologist Amelia Peabody, from Elizabeth Peters’ Egyptian series, and I could instantly imagine Emmeline as a young Amelia!), and once Thing was introduced I was in character-heaven with their snark and good old-fashioned spunk.I particularly adored how the young heroes held their own amongst the adult characters, showing bravery, initiative and learned survival skills that thoroughly impressed me. No sitting around waiting for the adults to come up with a plan here, or waiting to be rescued by your male co-protagonist. Nope, Emmeline just marshals her resources and grit and gets on with the job at hand.In terms of story, the plot is well-paced and easy to follow, whilst retaining a few mysteries for (please!) future sequels. There are fantastical creatures and intriguing contraptions galore, but our characters buck the trend by not quite being orphans, or Chosen Ones, and not suddenly exhibiting magical powers, but instead being reliant on themselves, their allies, and whatever they can find in their pockets.It is the tone though, that really ranks this writer amongst my all-time favourites. Sinéad O’Hart has a light, humourous, snarky touch that brings her characters sparkling to life and caused me to use the Kindle highlight function more than I have ever done in my life (er, never that I recall!). Whilst I personally enjoy any and all fiction, it is these books that nod their heads at real life, then grin and wink, that I come back to again and again in my own personal reading library (Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt, Elizabeth Peters, to name just a few). The Eye of the North is definitely joining their ranks!So a glowing review from me for this one. I can’t think of any aspect that did not work for me in this book, and I wholeheartedly and eagerly await the next novel from Sinéad O’Hart, whether it be more Widgets (*nods enthusiastically*), or something new but equally captivating. “Well I…” Emmeline began. “It’s sort of hard to explain.” Particularly when you don’t understand it yourself, she thought, picking absentmindedly at a loose thread on the buckle of her satchel.“Fascinatin’ story, that,” said Thing after a minute.– Sinéad O’Hart, The Eye of the North(Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog)
    more
  • S.J. Higbee
    January 1, 1970
    This steampunk adventure is huge fun that hits the ground running and doesn’t let up until the end. Emmeline is brought up a solitary child in a creepy house infested with all sorts of dangerous creatures and is more or less left to get on with it as her scientist parents have to do a lot of travelling. Until a fateful day when everything goes wrong… Do try to avoid reading the blurb which is far too chatty and gives away more of the plot than is necessary. That said, there is plenty of plot in This steampunk adventure is huge fun that hits the ground running and doesn’t let up until the end. Emmeline is brought up a solitary child in a creepy house infested with all sorts of dangerous creatures and is more or less left to get on with it as her scientist parents have to do a lot of travelling. Until a fateful day when everything goes wrong… Do try to avoid reading the blurb which is far too chatty and gives away more of the plot than is necessary. That said, there is plenty of plot in this action-packed story brimful of interesting, likeable characters. Generally I am not a huge fan of stories where yet another set of new characters pop up in each scene, but somehow O’Hart manages to pull it off. Other than Emmeline, whose gritty self-assurance gets her through all sorts of tight spots, my favourite character has to be Thing, the vagabond boy she encounters on the liner. But there are plenty of other enjoyable, strong-minded characters to choose from as steampunk tends to roll along with lots of action and relatively little angst. It was when Thing had a wobble about his grim childhood that I bonded with him and felt that vulnerability gave him more reader-appeal.There is also a pleasing number of unpleasant villains ranged against Emmeline and the people trying to prevent the impending apocalypse – my favourite is Doctor Siegfried Bauer as he is so magnificently horrible, especially to poor Emmeline. But the North Witch is also a thoroughly nasty character who poses all sorts of problems. Once the action really takes off, we have the two main protagonists, Emmeline and Thing alternating in telling the story, occasionally interspersed by other members of the supporting cast. O’Hart’s strong writing and deft handling of the rising tension makes this a really gripping read that didn’t want to let me go when I should have been up and about instead of finishing the book.The denouement has to deliver after so much energy and tension has been expended during the rising action and in this case, it does, while all the dangling plotpoints are satisfactorily tidied up. I’m very much hoping that this book does well, because although I cannot see any sign of this being the first in a series, I’d love to read more about Emmeline and her family in another madcap adventure. Recommended for precocious readers from 10/11 years old onwards.9/10
    more
  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    Emmaline's parents are scientists of some sort. She isn't really sure what all they do. They travel a lot and leave her at home. Emmaline believes in always being prepared. You never know what you are going to find in the family home or on the grounds. So she carries a satchel of useful things and tries not to be surprised by what she encounters. Then one day she receives notice that her parents are missing and she is being sent to Paris immediately. She has very little time to pack or mourn and Emmaline's parents are scientists of some sort. She isn't really sure what all they do. They travel a lot and leave her at home. Emmaline believes in always being prepared. You never know what you are going to find in the family home or on the grounds. So she carries a satchel of useful things and tries not to be surprised by what she encounters. Then one day she receives notice that her parents are missing and she is being sent to Paris immediately. She has very little time to pack or mourn and very little idea of what is going on. On the ship to Paris she meets Thing. Thing appears to be a stowaway on the ship. He has no family that he knows of, but takes an interest in Emmaline. After they set sail, Emmaline and Thing discover someone searching her room. Then they meet Sasha and Edgar who claim to want to help Emmaline. Unfortunately, before they can make up their minds to trust them, Emmaline is kidnapped by Dr. Bauer who takes her to Greenland. Thing teams up with Sasha and Edgar to rescue Emmaline. Dr. Bauer has also kidnapped Emmaline's parents and wants their help in awaking the kraken from beneath the glacier. He believes the kraken will lead to eternal life. This was a fun adventure story, but I felt like it needed just a bit more work. There is mention that the world is flooding, sea levels are rising, coasts are disappearing, but really no explanation for it. Emmaline's parents work for the White Rose Society, but that too isn't really explained. Thing's backstory is briefly touched on in a vision he has but then nothing more is mentioned. There are a lot of loose ends that were either left hanging or just didn't come together that well. However, I did really like Emmaline's resourcefulness and Thing's tenacity. Why they were such fast friends isn't exactly clear, but they were fun characters. The rest of it seemed like a bit of a mess. I received this book from Netgalley.
    more
  • Leilah Skelton
    January 1, 1970
    If you like quests, mythical beasts, mechanical marvels, secret societies, heart-pounding adventure, Ice Queens, High Seas, Arctic shivers, tentacles, and whip-smart kids with pocket treasure, then look no further...Hold onto your hats, because The Eye of the North whips along at a *cough* Kraken pace! There are a few mentions of a climate-ravaged Earth with submerged coastlines; however, the action takes place in a gloriously steampunk-flavoured world. This is a treasure trove of a story, which If you like quests, mythical beasts, mechanical marvels, secret societies, heart-pounding adventure, Ice Queens, High Seas, Arctic shivers, tentacles, and whip-smart kids with pocket treasure, then look no further...Hold onto your hats, because The Eye of the North whips along at a *cough* Kraken pace! There are a few mentions of a climate-ravaged Earth with submerged coastlines; however, the action takes place in a gloriously steampunk-flavoured world. This is a treasure trove of a story, which feels like it tips its hat to classic adventure, Golden Age mystery, mythology, Dickensian scamps, and Victorian baddies with their thirsts for immortality. The characters are wonderful, and if I have any criticism for this book, it is only that I wanted Emmeline and Thing together on the page more. Her plucky resourcefulness and his determination and loyalty were fantastic drivers within their separate threads, but when brought together, these two make the book really sing.It's hard to unpack all the praise I have for this debut. There is so much crammed in here that is sure to delight and surprise its readers. I can’t wait to see what adventures Sinead O'Hart has in store for us next!
    more
  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    A great adventure story filled with lots of action, danger and friendship in unexpected circumstances. The world appears to be suffering from the effects of global warming, the seas have risen and coastlines have changed. The plot centres around young Emmeline who initially has no idea what is going on or who she can trust but due to her unusual upbringing is intelligent and quite resourceful. Her parents are possibly dead and she is packed off to Paris as per her parents instructions should the A great adventure story filled with lots of action, danger and friendship in unexpected circumstances. The world appears to be suffering from the effects of global warming, the seas have risen and coastlines have changed. The plot centres around young Emmeline who initially has no idea what is going on or who she can trust but due to her unusual upbringing is intelligent and quite resourceful. Her parents are possibly dead and she is packed off to Paris as per her parents instructions should they be presumed dead. Delivered to her ship by a faithful retainer she is intrigued to find the letters OSCAR attached to her fathers name. What can that possibly mean?Emmeline is rescued by a boy calling himself Thing who chooses to feel very protective towards her and is possessed of talents which prove very helpful. Unfortunately they are separated but the erstwhile protector Thing embarks on a journey to find his new found friend.Mythical creatures, steampunk style transport, strange people, witches and the obligatory bad guys, what is there not to like?Travels along at a cracking pace, literally there is a lot of ice about. I’m sure we can expect more adventures on the horizon.
    more
  • Lizzie
    January 1, 1970
    I'm unsure about how much I enjoyed this book as there were parts which I thought were great and others where I almost put it down and started to read another book. There were lots of characters which brought excitement to the story but I found it hard to connect with them. I think this is because you only really find out little bits about the character's past and there are lots of questions left unanswered for example Thing's issues with his lungs. Of course, this could be answered in a sequel I'm unsure about how much I enjoyed this book as there were parts which I thought were great and others where I almost put it down and started to read another book. There were lots of characters which brought excitement to the story but I found it hard to connect with them. I think this is because you only really find out little bits about the character's past and there are lots of questions left unanswered for example Thing's issues with his lungs. Of course, this could be answered in a sequel but it would have worked well here. The story line, for me, started off a bit dull and I found it quite difficult to commit to the book. It starts to pick up mid way through the book but then I feel like things were happening just for the sake of it rather than to really engage and excite the reader. Although I wouldn't read this with my Year 5 class (as I wouldn't want to read it again), I do think that they might feel differently to me so I will recommend it to them to try. Fingers crossed they'll enjoy it more!Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children's books for the ARC.
    more
  • Sammy
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank NetGalley and Little Tiger Group, Stripes Publishing; for giving me the opportunity to read and review this title.This book instantly reminded me of Philip Pullman’s The Northern Lights trilogy; with a sassy and smart mouthed young female protagonist, who has a hell-of-a-lot-of guts for her age. Soon into the story her parents are kidnapped, leaving nothing behind but a note written by her mother to say s I received an e-copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank NetGalley and Little Tiger Group, Stripes Publishing; for giving me the opportunity to read and review this title.This book instantly reminded me of Philip Pullman’s The Northern Lights trilogy; with a sassy and smart mouthed young female protagonist, who has a hell-of-a-lot-of guts for her age. Soon into the story her parents are kidnapped, leaving nothing behind but a note written by her mother to say she likely won’t see her again. Emmeline barely bats an eyelid, but is instead sent on a ship over to Paris, all by herself!Even this early into the story, there is a certain air of mystery; Emmeline speaks about creatures her parents keep in their house in cages, never explaining what they are just that they are so very weird and sometimes a little dangerous. Not long into the book, the adventure begins; narrated from one POV (Emmeline) to begin with. As the story progresses, more characters are introduced, and more POVs pop up, detailing each of their adventures on their way to the North.The language within the book is perfect for Middle Grade readers and above, and the storyline itself is bound to captivate boys and girls of all ages! I certainly enjoyed it and I am 22 years old! It was a great read and speech was described in such a way that all of the characters instantly developed their own voices in my head. Even though it is simple and easy to read, it doesn’t skip out on necessary features to fill out the story, give our characters depth, or give scenes vibrant detail.Character back stories were also addressed and for the most part these were well done; particularly Thing. Though I would’ve liked to know more about the group Emmeline’s parents worked for. Additionally some aspects of the story were dragged on more than others; the ending in particular I would’ve liked more in-depth detailing and more happening.But overall I loved this book. It was gripping, adventurous, and had a great fantasy element which I really liked. I think anyone aged 10+ would comfortably be able to read this, and possibly some younger readers. I don’t doubt they would love it.In conclusion, I am awarding this book 4*/5. Some places seemed a little rushed, whilst others the opposite, and I would’ve liked to know more about other characters other than Thing and Emmeline. But all in all a great debut novel, and I would love to hear more about Emmeline and Thing’s adventures – though as it stands I believe this is not in the pipeline *sad face*.
    more
  • Amy (Golden Books Girl)
    January 1, 1970
    In this mesmerising, magical adventure, we meet Emmeline and follow her on her journey to the North to rescue her kidnapped parents. The characters in this book are amazing. Emmeline`s sidekick Thing was so sweet and such a good friend, and I adored him, and I thought that the other main secondary character Sasha was wonderful too. Emmeline was one of my favourite heroines in ages, possibly of all time; I saw a lot of similarities between us and I thought she was just an imperfect heroine trying In this mesmerising, magical adventure, we meet Emmeline and follow her on her journey to the North to rescue her kidnapped parents. The characters in this book are amazing. Emmeline`s sidekick Thing was so sweet and such a good friend, and I adored him, and I thought that the other main secondary character Sasha was wonderful too. Emmeline was one of my favourite heroines in ages, possibly of all time; I saw a lot of similarities between us and I thought she was just an imperfect heroine trying her very best, which I love. I really liked being able to see all the characters when they weren`t together at some points, even though some of the switches were quite sudden. The world was all-enveloping, and I felt like I was journeying alongside the characters. I want my own ice horse immediately, though I wouldn`t like to run into the super sinister villains that O Hart has created. I`m so very hopeful for a sequel someday soon, particularly after an event in the climax that made me cry buckets and the lovely ending. 4.5/5
    more
  • Elise
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited about this book. I liked the tone and the kind of character Emmeline was being built up to be. But the set-up was over very quickly and with non-stop running away from baddies and imminent danger, no time was really given to getting to know the characters. The relationship between characters seemed to happen instantly, which didn't quite feel believable to me.I'm pretty sure the timeline of the story is just a week during which a LOT happens. Despite the fast pace I found myself fe I was excited about this book. I liked the tone and the kind of character Emmeline was being built up to be. But the set-up was over very quickly and with non-stop running away from baddies and imminent danger, no time was really given to getting to know the characters. The relationship between characters seemed to happen instantly, which didn't quite feel believable to me.I'm pretty sure the timeline of the story is just a week during which a LOT happens. Despite the fast pace I found myself feeling a bit bored. It's hard to pinpoint why. It may have been the endless running and being chased with no time to develop the characters and get to know them or the very short back and forth of point of views. Somehow this book felt like it should have been the second in a series, where the characters and the world has already been set up, meaning that you can launch into an adventure quite quickly. With the set-up not being effective enough, I just ended up not really caring and forcing myself to finish... Shame, the blurb had a lot of promise.
    more
Write a review