24th July 2021


By Stephen
Peter Bunzel. Usborne. (368p) ISBN 9781474915007



Cogheart was Peter Bunzel’s debut novel, and what a debut. Cogheart was shortlisted for the Waterstones Book Prize 2017, and for the Branford Boase Award 2017. It was Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month for August 2016. It won the Dudley Teen Book Award and Sefton Super Reads Award 2017. It was also nominated for Haringey Children’s Book Award 2017, Hillingdon Primary Book of the Year 2017, Leeds Book Award 2017, Warwickshire Junior Book Award 2017, and the North East Book Award 2017.

Lily lives in an alternative Victorian era where clockwork animals and people are servants, friends and pets. Lily is at boarding school as her mum died in an accident years ago and her father is an inventor of clockwork mechanisms and always busy.

This book uses a lot of the steampunk tropes that we are used to; dirigibles, clockwork, Victoriana, and a strong female character; and it uses them well in telling a fast-paced adventure with a lot of suspense, mystery and laughs.

Peter’s writing is paced well and, I would say, for all ages. Though this book is aimed firmly at middle-grade readers, I thoroughly enjoyed it and a lot of adults I recommended it to also love it.

Peter’s follow-up, Moonlocket, is now available.

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