Carnival of the Lost Blog Tour

Having read The Peculiars and loved it, I was over the moon to see it re-imagined and extended to become Carnival of the Lost. I am delighted to be part of the blog tour celebrating this book and my focus today is on the incredible illustrations from Sam Usher! If you are browsing on Twitter, then you may find others sharing some of the illustrations as well- they are worth it!

A bold and brave cast of characters for Kieran Larwood make the book easy to read, and the adventure hard to forget, as this “family” must endure and survive a dangerous plot! Set in Victorian London, there is so much scope for Sam Usher to draw upon!

“Beneath all the boats and steamers, beneath the oozing brown water and the floating lumps of stuff that swirled in it, was the mud that Till had spent her life combing for treasure.”

Bringing to life the hardships, danger and lifestyle of the children searching for treasures along the Thames, Sam Usher’s illustration is amazingly detailed.

“At the sound of the bell, a man shuffled out from the back of the shop. He was tall and thin, and wore a suit that was three sizes too small. He looked like a cloth-wrapped beanpole.

Sneepsnood’s Emporium of Lost Treasures is visited by a few from the Carnival of the Lost as they hunt for the missing children. Can he be trusted? His shop is dusty, full of forgotten items and grimy inside and out. What a treasure trove to explore!

“The mudlarks looked out at the river, faces pale beneath the muck and dirt, as the fog closed in around the clawed creature and it slowly vanished from sight.”

This crab-like clawed machine is stealing mudlarks and the Carnival of the Lost must get to the bottom of this mystery before more children are taken.

Sam Usher’s illustrations are ideal for this story, set in the dirt and grime of Victorian London, there is much to study in each illustration and they bring the fear of this mystery to life.

This book is the first in the new mystery series and film rights have already been optioned and I for one will be first in line to watch this!

My Mini Review!

Sheba and her new friends are sideshow exhibits but it is a family they have become though none would claim Plumpscuttle as the loving father figure. With a range of talents and looks, this motley crew must form a family and mystery solving team.

When mudlarks begin disappearing, this team decide to investigate. What they stumble upon is something more dark and sinister than they could have imagined.  There is a larger plan for the stolen mudlarks, one that involves a theft from a Hyde Park and the Great Exhibition. 

Sheba is so keen to know more about her past and she will need to deal with harsh realities throughout this tale, from mistreatment and shunning in society to the worry of losing family and friends.

The Peculiars was a favourite of mine and I am so pleased to see it given new layers, new title and a new book cover. The illustrations are divine and I admit to spending a long time studying the details in each one.

Fans of fantastical adventures will love this tale of finding yourself and family, regardless of what you look like. We all belong somewhere! I am certainly looking forward to more from this series!

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