Eric Bower

The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate [Eric Bower]

Our story begins, as many stories do, with a talking squirrel dream . . .

The year is 1891, and Waldo “W.B.” Baron has just woken up to find his house flying—no, wait, floating?—floating a thousand feet above the ground. His inventor parents have transformed their house into a flying machine, which they’ve entered into a race around the country. Unfortunately for W.B. (who knows less about science than the average tapeworm), that means missing a show staring the hero of his favorite adventure novels, Sheriff Graham.

The incomparably klutzy W.B. gets his own taste of the Wild West when his family’s flying house is hijacked by Rose Blackwood, the sister of Sheriff Graham’s greatest nemesis, the vilest villain, the cruelest criminal, Benedict Blackwood. Rose forces the Barons to continue the race, so that she can steal the prize money and break her brother out of jail.

With the help of an unusually tiny friend and aided by a baffling interpretation of simple scientific concepts, W.B. is finally given the chance to be the hero, instead of the kid who reads about the hero while eating too much pie.

My thoughts on the book: The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate is a fantastic, quirky adventure with flamboyant characters. Not only is it funny, but it is an immersion into a wacky universe where a house can fly (not float!), a father repeatedly gets hit by lightning but somehow miraculously recovers without  a scratch (except for a mad scientist-style hairdo), and a wannabe criminal kidnaps a whole family but still really cares about politeness, among other amusing incongruities.

It is a fast-paced book that kids (and young-ish adults) will surely enjoy. It made me think of the nonsensical crazy world of Alice in Wonderland. Going from one oddity to another, you eventually get suck in this wonderfully nutty intrigue.

It’s imaginative, funny, quirky and entertaining. I literally couldn’t put it down and read it within a few hours. I very much enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

My score: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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