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Author: Frances Hardinge

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Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers, 2011

Material: hard cover

Summary: Mosca Mye, an orphan, and Saracen, her (not so very nice) goose, are setting up shop in Toll. Mandelion (her home town) has closed its gates to Mosca and her companion Eponymous Clent, who fancies himself a wordsmith, because of their involvement in a revolution there. Together or apart, they are continually running cons. Things are not right in Toll either. Together Mosca and Clent, who is part mentor part scoundrel, uncover a nefarious, evil plot against both Toll and Mandelion. Given their history of scams, will anyone believe what they say? This is a sequel to Fly by Night.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 10 and Up; read yourself: 12 and Up

Interest Level: 10 to 14

Reading Level: 7

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: Think Dickens crossed with early Harry Potter: descriptive, detailed, and long (580+ pages). If you like Charles Dickens or enjoy reading longer books like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, you'll enjoy Fly Trap. This is the sequel to Fly by Night, but I didn't find it hard to get into the story jumping in at Book 2. Although there is a finite set of characters, this is not easy to read. Sentences are long and the humor is dry. All that said, Fly Trap has its moments and makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. Mosca is an interesting character and Saracen is hilarious.

Pros: Detailed descriptions and a diverse cast of characters make for a vivid, fun adventure.

Cons: This is not a quick read, and although there is plenty going on, it is not an action-adventure.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is not a book-made-for-movie style of writing. There is a lot of imagination and detail, and you won't know if it works for your reader until you try.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE MAGIC THIEF (Book 1)   THE DEMON KING (Seven Realms, Book 1)   VILLAIN KEEPER (The Last Dragon Keeper Series, Book 1)

Educational Themes: Because of its significance later in the story, older readers may enjoy drawing their own maps of Toll and Mandelion.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, growing up, fantasy

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at; and reviews and reader feedback at


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