Review: The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning

4:45 PM

Are you ready for a new adventure? 


The Amazing Beatrix works as an acrobat in a 19th Century circus, no home or family to speak of. When a daring escape from her abusive ringleader crosses Beatrix's path with that of the daring adventurer Colonel James Bacchus, the unlikely pair team up, fly to safety aboard the Colonel’s miraculous four-story hot air balloon, and begin a grand quest to find the most precious gem in the world, The Blue Star Sphinx.

If the heroes can outmaneuver the deadly treasure hunters, escaped convicts, and double-crosses that await them, they may win the treasure they seek, or better yet, a sense of true belonging.

Witty banter, colorful characters, and exotic locations pack the fantastical, globe-trotting adventure that reads like Sherlock Holmes meets Around the World in Eighty Days.

 MY  RATING: ★★★★☆(4.5)

As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
Ah! I wasn't sure what to expect from The Colonel and the Bee. The synopsis, naturally, piqued my attention because (a) a steampunk adventure (!!! a reviewer referred to it as, "Lara Croft, steampunk style") and (b) it was pitched as Around the World in Eighty Days meets Wizard of Oz. This led to me dramatically making grabby hands at my laptop: all I knew was I needed this book and I was likely going to embarrass myself in the process.

It's a good thing my shame has been missing for over two decades.

Babbling again, aren't I? Back to the book. And, oh, it was brilliant. The Colonel and the Bee was my first steampunk novel in ages and I'm so glad it was the one that reintroduced me to the genre. But it is much, much more than a steampunk novel. Like all good pieces of literature, it combines elements from many genres and weaves them into the central storyline. It keeps readers on their toes and will prove to be intensely compelling in the long run.

The scenes, and Canning's prose, is vivid and high-paced; tangling plotlines and characters into one another beautifully. Although there are many themes in The Colonel and the Bee that may seem a bit reminiscent to other stories, it is entirely its own being. There is something about it that captivated my attention from the start and made it impossible to put it down.

Writing a review about it is rather difficult because (1) I don't want to spoil it for any readers because it's definitely something you'll want to experience on your own and (2) 98.9% of it would just be me babbling about how much I adore the characters. 

Ultimately, The Colonel and the Bee is one of the most unique and thrilling books to be read in 2019. It isn't merely an adventure novel, it is an adventure of a novel. If this isn't on your radar now, it needs to be. It's impossible not to fall into Canning's prose and the way in which he crafts his characters and world. You cannot miss this one!

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