Larklight by Philip Reeve
Utterly unique and devilishly witty, Larklight is a page-turningly brilliant (Victorian) space adventure, and truly original modern classic, told through the eyes of plucky Arthur Mumby.
Arthur (Art) Mumby and his irritating sister Myrtle live with their father in the huge and rambling house, Larklight, travelling through space on a remote orbit far beyond the Moon. One ordinary sort of morning they receive a correspondence informing them that a gentleman is on his way to visit, a Mr Webster. Visitors to Larklight are rare if not unique, and a frenzy of preparation ensues. But it is entirely the wrong sort of preparation, as they discover when their guest arrives, and a Dreadful and Terrifying (and marvellous) adventure begins. It takes them to the furthest reaches of Known Space, where they must battle the evil First Ones in a desperate attempt to save each other – and the Universe.
Philip Reeve is a bit of a genius, and I’m not the only one who thinks so as he won the Carnegie Prize (www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk) with Here Lies Arthur only last year (2008).