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The Story of Cirrus Flux


The Story of Cirrus Flux

The Foundling Hospital has been home to countless orphans in London, England, and that is where Cirrus Flux finds himself currently situated in the late 1700s. Cirrus knows nothing of his parents, nor anything of his past, and spends all of his time running around with the other foundlings and hoping that one day he will get picked for a new family. The only clue to his identity is a metal sphere that he keeps safely on a necklace draped around his neck. While Cirrus does not recognize the sphere, he keeps it close, as it is the only connection to his family. Cirrus also doesn’t realize that people are willing to do anything --- including killing --- to get their hands on this sphere.

The sphere is rumored to hold the Breath of God, discovered by Cirrus’s father, James Flux, on a voyage to the Antarctic Circle. James shared this information with only a few people. The first was his best friend, Felix Hardy, a trusted companion on sea voyages. The other was the Guild of Empirical Science, who was so infatuated with James’s findings that they demanded he go, find the source, and bring back more. Those most interested among the Guild was Madame Orrery, a mesmerist who can wipe away people’s memories.

James Flux, however, runs into a few problems before he could recover more of the Breath of God. First, his wife dies in childbirth. With the impending voyage ahead of him, James has no choice but to hand Cirrus over to the Foundling Hospital. Second, James’s journey ends in disaster with his life being lost at sea. Felix Hardy pledges to watch over Cirrus, while the Guild of Empirical Science and Madame Orrery, now disgruntled, give up --- but do not forget.

Twelve years later, Cirrus remains at the Foundling Hospital watching his friends leave one by one to new homes. To make matters worse, a mysterious man with a bizarre flying flame appears to haunt Cirrus from outside the hospital’s walls. On top of all that, Cirrus is awakened in the middle of the night by a girl who is about to change his life. Another foundling, Pandora, warns Cirrus that he is in great danger. Recently apprenticed to Madame Orrery, Pandora learns of a sinister plot to capture Cirrus and his sphere no matter what the cost. She puts her own life at risk to help him escape and thus begins an exciting and terrifying adventure across 18th-century London.

With scientific discoveries being made almost daily, it is sometimes easy to forget the initial excitement and sense of awe associated with these amazing aspects of the world. THE STORY OF CIRRUS FLUX takes readers back to a time when the exploration of the unknown was the major focus of fanatical devotees who sought to impress each other with their latest findings. Matthew Skelton reminds readers of the joy surrounding these discoveries and of the fact that the most satisfying adventures are not found huddled up and hidden, but out in the open in the most unexpected of places.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on February 23, 2010

The Story of Cirrus Flux
by Matthew Skelton

  • Publication Date: February 23, 2010
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 038573381X
  • ISBN-13: 9780385733816