Fly Trap by Frances Hardinge

Fly Trap, by Frances Hardinge, was published in 2011 by HarperCollins. It is the sequel to Fly by Night.

Having barely escaped the revolution they had a huge (if accidental) part in causing, sharp-eyed orphan Mosca Mye; her guard goose, Saracen; and their sometimes-loyal companion, the con man Eponymous Clent, must start anew. All too quickly, they find themselves embroiled in fresh schemes and twisting politics as they are trapped in Toll, an odd town that changes its entire personality as day turns to night. Mosca and her friends attempt to fend off devious new foes, subvert old enemies, prevent the kidnapping of the mayor’s daughter, steal the town’s Luck, and somehow manage to escape with their lives—and hopefully a little money in their pockets.

Rating: 5/5

Unlike Fly by Night, I was much less distracted while reading Fly Trap. This might have affected the way I feel about both books, but that can’t be helped. As it stands, I loved Fly Trap much, much more than Fly by Night. The worldbuilding was much less complicated (all I had to remember was that Locksmiths=bad things and Mandelion=rebellion) and the setting of the book itself fascinated me. I loved the concept of Toll, the wooden town with the sliding doors and completely different personalities at day and at night. I loved the stubbornness of Mosca, the glibness of Eponymous, the delight of new characters like Paragon and Midwife Leap, and the wild shenanigans that occurred (the four Clatterhorse parade was probably my favorite part of the book, along with anything involving Saracen).

Fly Trap isn’t as focused on the written word and books as Fly by Night was, and so some of the beautiful language that was in Fly by Night didn’t seem as apparent in Fly Trap. But there were delicious bits of imagery here and there, and overall I enjoyed the characters, setting, and plot of Fly Trap too much to care that some of the beauty of the writing wasn’t as stand-out as it had been in the first book.

It did take me a little bit to fully get into and enjoy the book, but once I did (pretty much once Mosca & Co. got to Toll), I could barely put Fly Trap down. I wouldn’t mind reading about another adventure of Mosca and Eponymous and Saracen, but I loved this one so much that I think it would be hard to top.

Recommended Age Range: 14+

Warnings: A small amount of violence, death.

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

“Did you see its face?” The doctor was craning his head to one side, perhaps in an attempt to see whether the pie-hatted man’s head was bulging strangely.

“There was no time for that, sir. One minute it was swooping at me, then it grabbed hold of me and tried to drag me to hell with the might of a hurricane.”

“You actually felt it?” The doctor seemed fascinated.

“Well, yes, sir. You don’t think my nose is this color naturally, do you?” the feature in question did indeed seem to be unusually raw looking.

“It…tried to drag you to hell…by your nose?”

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