Book Review: The Wingsnatchers (Carmer and Grit, #1) by Sarah Jean Horwitz

The Wingsnatchers is the first book in the Carmer and Grit series for middle grade readers by Sarah Jean Horwitz. Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis. When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition. But Carmer and Grit soon discover they’re not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine – and the combination can be deadly.

The Wingsnatchers is a nice start to a series, unfortunately I found that the first couple chapters started off slowly, and some readers might not make it to where Carmer and Grit meet- which is when the story really picks up interest and speed. I liked the premise, and the characters once I got fully involved in the story. I thought Carmer was clever, but in the focused way of inventors and scholars that sometimes miss the obvious. Grit was my favorite character, she has a missing wing, and has lived her life as actively and dangerously as she could. She was occasionally a little bratty- but what do you want from a fairy princess? Sadly some oft he twists I figured out a little sooner than I would have liked, but the ride for Carmer to come to the same realization was entertaining- although he frustrated me often. Some of the secondary characters caught my imagination, and I want more past and future information about some of them. I enjoyed the adventure and the idea of the story, but despite some great moments, I was not blown away by the read. 

The Wingsnatchers is a good fantasy novel, but it took awhile to grab my attention. I will admit to picking it up and putting down a few times- but in the end I think that this book will find a large audience that will enjoy it.

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