Title: The Crystal Palace Chronicles: Star of Nimrod
Author: Graham Whitlock
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Grass Roots Productions
Source: Literally PR
Release Date: October 14, 2021
Join teenager Joe on a rollercoaster adventure travelling back in time to the heyday of Victorian Crystal Palace.
Joe’s world is turned upside down when he discovers a shattered compass among the brambles where the Crystal Palace once stood and travels through time back to 1888.
With help from the teenage H. G. Wells and Samuel Coleridge Taylor, daredevil Iris Blondin, Arthur Conan Doyle the creator of Sherlock Holmes and the Queen of the Gypsies, Joe must foil dangerous diamond thieves to uncover dark secrets about the ‘People’s Palace’. Standing on boundaries between worlds, its mysterious secrets are tied to the fate of his family.
Will Joe be trapped in the past with his new friends, find a way to return to his family or can he somehow have both?
Joe Cook lives with his father and sister near the Crystal Palace Park in London. When Joe finds a broken compass one day, he is transported back to the real Crystal Palace in 1888. Joe stumbles upon a plan to steal the diamond brooch, The Star of Nimrod. Along with historical figures such as H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Joe must prevent the theft so that he can return to his own time.
This was such a fun time traveling mystery. I love it when historical stories have real figures from history. The future historical figures in this story were not yet famous, so they had no idea what they would be known for centuries later. H.G. Wells and Samuel Coleridge Taylor were children, and Arthur Conan Doyle was a doctor who had just written the first Sherlock Holmes story. I always find it a fun way to learn about history when real historical figures are woven into a fictional story.
There were a few moments in the story that weren’t finished, but may be cleared up in a later novel. There was one scene where Joe supposedly travelled back to a different future from the one he left behind. There was also the Alone Child, who made some brief appearances but I wasn’t really sure who that was supposed to be or his role in the story. Maybe these parts will be cleared up in the next story, but I was left wondering what those parts meant.
The Crystal Chronicles: Star of Nimrod was a fun middle grade historical fiction mystery.
Thank you Literally PR for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn
The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray by E. Latimer
About the author:
Graham Whitlock is a writer, walker, local instigator, dad and born-and-bred Norwood boy who is hopelessly in love with London. He helped found and run award-winning charity DreamArts which transforms young lives fusing arts and therapy. Graham edited the Dev and Olli children’s books by Shweta Aggarwal and his professional writing credits include a stage adaptation of the Shane Meadows film 24/7 and the UK’s first immersive musical based on the classic Ealing Studio comedy Passport to Pimlico.
Have you read The Crystal Palace Chronicles: Star of Nimrod? What did you think of it?