The Sky Village was just listed in Time Out London as one of the best Christmas Gift Books for 2008.
Kaimira: Book One, the Sky Village
Monk and Nigel Ashland, with illustrations by Jeff Nentrup
A dystopian fantasy, ‘Kaimira’ is set in a world divided into three factions: humans, beasts and Meks (machines). Like Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ series, it boasts an appealingly feisty female heroine and a more thoughtful, troubled male one. One of the most seductive aspects of Pullman’s books is the settings he conjures for the adventures of his characters and – though the writing here is not in the same class – the Sky Village, a community of linked hot air balloons floating high above China, and other richly described locations, offer similarly escapist pleasures. ‘Kaimira’ ends somewhat abruptly in order to establish the opening for volume two, but it’s a satisfying read and worth considering as a present for a young reader suffering Pullman (or Potter) withdrawal symptoms.