The Wild Robot meets Sweet Tooth in the first book in a sweeping adventure series packed with robots, smugglers, battles, and a lonely boy trying to find where he fits in the world.
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on THE SINISTER SECRETS OF SINGE by Sean Ferrell Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
About the Book:
Title: THE SINISTER SECRETS OF SINGE
Author: Sean Ferrell
Pub. Date: June 6, 2023
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Eleven-year-old Noah has grown up in a mysterious house that grows larger every night with only his mother and a robot-boy for company. He spends his days building robotic devices for the city of Liberty, a place he’s not even allowed to visit—not since his father almost destroyed it when Noah was only a baby. When Noah discovers a message hidden in one of his father's inventions, he decides to run away to find him. He’s sure that at his father’s side he’ll finally get the recognition he deserves. With the help of a band of smugglers (especially unofficial second in command, young Winona), he sails to Singe to rescue his father, who he’s certain is as misunderstood as he is, but the man he finds there is even more of a monster than his mechanical creations. And when Noah returns home, he accidentally leads his father’s robot army to Liberty once more. Now, it’s up to Noah to rescue the city—but to do so, he’ll have to make a terrible choice.
"A boy’s determined search for his father lends emotional heft to this steampunk-inflected series starter. . . . Tackling questions about sacrifice and sentience, this speculative enterprise, accompanied by Carter’s moody illustrations, offers melancholic refinement. . . ."—Publishers Weekly "Ferrell opens this exciting new middle-grade adventure series with a bang. . . . Lush world building and an action-packed storyline will prove perfect for fans of book franchises such as A Series of Unfortunate Events. With a plot that never fails to lose steam, accompanied by Carter’s eerie illustrations, Noah’s origin story is one that fans of adventure and mystery ought not to miss."—Booklist "This high adventure veers between fast action sequences and stolid instances of emotional development."—Foreword Reviews "An impressively descriptive story. . . ."—Kirkus Reviews
The Sinister Secrets of Singe
By Sean Ferrell
Noah lived in a house that grew larger at night. It was the only place he was allowed.
Crashing and hammering and sawing echoed through the spiraling rooms as he slept. During the day, his chores kept him distracted. In his spare time, he daydreamed at the windows about the trees and the hill and the city beyond and wondered if he might ever get to see them up close. He knew he wouldn’t. It wasn’t allowed.
After dark, the noises let him know the house was growing—that it was a mysterious, living thing.
Most nights, the noises broke into his dreams. He felt the thuds and crashes as if he were dancing with giants. On nights when the noises woke him—an exceptionally large thud, or a ceiling shaking rattle—he would lie awake for hours, listening. In the dark, he’d imagine what the new rooms and halls would look like. Enough rooms had been added to the house throughout the years that he’d learned what to expect. Each room joined to the previous at a slight angle. Each floor spiraled above the previous, the rooms oddly shaped, the spiral getting wider as the house rose higher.
When the noises woke him, he usually drifted back to sleep slowly, as slowly as the house grew.
At least, that’s how it used to be. This night was different. This night, it was the quiet that startled Noah from his sleep. The harder he strained to catch the now-familiar bangs and whirs, the harder his mattress felt.
He sat up slowly to adjust his pillow, careful to make no sound that he was awake.
Almost instantly, heavy robotic footsteps clicked toward the bed.
“You are not sleeping,” Elijah said. “It is night, and you are not asleep.” The ticking of the robot caretaker’s gears and the occasional singing of his springs revealed Elijah’s location. “You should sleep at night.”
Elijah was always repeating Marie’s rules and warnings.
The robot walked to the side of the bed. Noah didn’t need light to know Elijah was worried. Light would only show the robot’s face—the face of a boy about Noah’s age, unmoving and expressionless and cast from iron. Elijah’s expressions came from the speed of his clockwork ticking, not the furrow of a brow.
Noah listened to the house he knew so well. Beyond Elijah’s ticking, there wasn’t a sound. But Noah didn’t need to see the house to know it. After all, it was the only place he’d ever been, home only to his mother Marie, Elijah, and himself—three small figures in a giant, spiraling space. Yet until this night, with its unsettling quiet, it had never occurred to Noah how room after room of it was empty.
Now he could think of nothing else.
Excerpt from The Sinister Secrets of Singe / Text copyright © 2023 by Sean Ferrell. Reproduced with permission from Pixel+Ink. All rights reserved.
About Sean Ferrell:
Sean Ferrell lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He writes stories about children and adults who don’t understand why they keep getting into trouble. Sometimes those stories are for adults. Sometimes for children. His work is usually speculative in nature. His shorter writing has appeared in journals and magazines such as Electric Literature’s “The Outlet” and The Adirondack Review. Visit him online at www. seanferrell.com
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About The Illustrator:
Graham Carter can often be found printmaking, sketching, or making a mess in his studio. He was recently shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize. He lives in Seaford with his wife and sons. Visit him online at www.graham-carter.co.uk
1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE SINISTER SECRETS OF SINGE, US Only.
Ends July 25th, midnight EST