Starving Short Story Review: The Steamkettle Kids Save The Day! (The Legends and Adventures of Industralia Part 1) by Lori Alden Holuta

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The Steamkettle Kids Save The Day! (The Legends and Adventures of Industralia Part 1) by Lori Alden Holuta (Amazon, Goodreads)

It has been a busy week at Starving Author LLC but I guaranteed a review and thus it shall be! To accommodate my busy eating schedule, today’s Starving Review will be for a little treat of a children’s meal, a one-course snack that comes out of the steampunk kitchen of previous Starving Review chef, Lori Alden Holuta. Will today’s meal match up to previous bites or will it be insufficient to quiet my stomach grumbles?

Before we find out, remember to check the factory rules and be safe at reviewing:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible

As Kids is a short story aimed for a younger audience than the previous meal from this same chef, we have to examine it through a different set of tastebuds. Still, despite the format change, Mrs. Holuta continues to capture both a sense of adventure and that intangible ‘lived-in’ feeling that are essential to such a tale. There is a conscious effort, I feel, to make the tale a bit fantastical while still leaving it grounded to something that a child can relate too. It’s a delicate balance, but I feel the chef keeps that even keel for the whole tale.

Our two protagonists are quite likable and relatable. From my own experiences with children that age, they share a proper degree of precociousness, cunning, and mischievousness to feel like they are quite real. Never underestimate a ten-year old’s power to get both into trouble and out of it, I tell you! As you should expect from the single course, the secondary characters receive minimal fluffing out but that lived-in feeling helps keep them from feeling actually cardboard. You get the feeling that there is more to them that the chef doesn’t have time to fluff up.

If there is any flaw I can feel safe pointing out, it is a combination of length and language. The first I chalk up to my own personal tastes. I prefer longer meals with more courses so I can sink my teeth into the world and the characters so I must write that off. The second might be more valid, as Kids is fairly verbose for the target age group, but even that really isn’t much of an issue, considering that I know ten-year-olds that can devour all of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson with minimal effort. Still, it’s something to keep in mind when gauging getting this for children you have or know.

To sum up, The Steamkettle Kids Save The Day! is a delightful, bite-sized treat for children, especially well-read ones, that delivers adventure and a solid world! If your intended little tyke is a talented reader or into steampunk titles, you should definitely pick this up for them and take a look at the rest of the chef’s work. If the child is a bit behind the reading curve, you might still consider getting this, but to read with them or to them instead.

FINAL VERDICT: ***** (A delightful, bite-sized treat for children, especially well-read ones, that delivers adventure!)

 

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One comment

  1. Thank you, James! It’s a good honest review and I am very happy to know you enjoyed it and to also learn your take on the tale. I agree that the book does expect something extra from kids in the vocabulary used – and I’m glad you pointed that out to parents choosing books for their kids. My own parents pushed me to read a bit beyond my comfort zones and to ask questions about words and concepts I wasn’t familiar with. For me, it was a positive experience. And so, I nudge the kids of today in hopes of them learning to build on their language skills. But each parent knows best what their child needs, and I’m glad you mentioned this.

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