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Matthew Kirby

Matthew KirbyMatthew Kirby was born in Utah, but with a father in the Navy he moved frequently. He attended three different elementary schools, three different high schools, and lived in Rhode Island, Maryland, California, and Hawaii. As an undergraduate at Utah State University, he majored in history. He then went on to earn M.S and Ed.S degrees in school psychology. He currently lives in Utah with his wife where he works for a large school district. Learn more at Matthew Kirby’s blog.

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Dark Gravity Sequence

Dark Gravity Sequence — (2015- ) Age Level: 8 – 12 | Grade Level: 3 – 7. Perfect for fans of the Percy Jackson and Seven Wonders series, The Arctic Code is the first book in an epic, fast-paced middle grade adventure trilogy by acclaimed author Matthew J. Kirby. It is the near future, and the earth has entered a new ice age. Eleanor Perry lives in Tucson, one of the most popular destinations for refugees of the Freeze. She is the daughter of a climatologist who is trying to find new ways to preserve human life on the planet. Dr. Perry believes that a series of oil deposits she has found in the Arctic may hold the key to our survival. That’s when she disappears—but not before sending Eleanor a series of cryptic messages that point to a significant and mysterious discovery. Now it’s up to Eleanor to go find her. This search will launch Eleanor on a breathless race to unlock the mysteries of what has happened to our planet, solving the riddle of the cold that could be humanity’s end—and uncovering a threat to the earth that may not be of this world.

The Rogue World (Dark Gravity Sequence) Kindle Edition by Matthew J. Kirby

The Arctic Code:  A fast-paced middle-grade novel with some issues

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The Arctic Code by Matthew Kirby

Matthew Kirby’s newest release, The Arctic Code, is the first book in a new MG/YA science fiction series entitled THE DARK GRAVITY SEQUENCE. Unlike some of his prior books, like The Clockwork Three and Icefall (two of my favorite reads those respective years), this one is more fully an MG work, in that it lacks that adult crossover appeal and even older, more sophisticated younger readers will find themselves questioning some of the logic of events or wishing for some more depth of character. Its target audience, however, will mostly (I guess) respond well to its fast pace, frequent tension, and especially Eleanor, the impulsive hero at the heart of the story.

The set... Read More

The Clockwork Three: This stands out

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The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby

Amid the several highly anticipated children's and YA works this year by big names such as Suzanne Collins and Rick Riordan, one can be forgiven for missing the entry onto the stage of Matthew Kirby’s first novel, The Clockwork Three. Forgiven, but no longer excused, for among all those much more hyped releases (though they are often justifiably hyped), this stands out as among the best. There. Now you know. You should get it.

The Clockwork Three follows, no surprise, three characters. One is Giuseppe, a young busker sold off by his uncle in Italy to America where he is forced to give over the nigh... Read More

Icefall: Stunningly good

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Icefall by Matthew Kirby

Last year I wrote this about Matthew Kirby’s novel The Clockwork Three:

“Amid the several highly anticipated children's and YA works this year by big names such as Suzanne Collins and Rick Riordan, one can be forgiven for missing the entry onto the stage of Matthew Kirby’s first novel, The Clockwork Three. Forgiven, but no longer excused, for among all those much more hyped releases (though they are often justifiably hyped), this stands out as among the best. There. Now you know. You should get it.

One might imagine, therefore, that Kirby’s second novel, Icefall, would have a difficult time matching the quality of the first. Darned if he didn’t just do it though. Before I’d even finished it, Icefall was already on my list of top te... Read More

The Lost Kingdom: A children’s adventure story set on the frontier of America

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The Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby

Matthew Kirby
set himself a pretty high bar with his first two YA books. Both The Clockwork Three and Icefall made it onto my top ten list for Fantasy Literature their respective years, and Icefall I would have put on my top ten list of books that year, fantasy or not. So when I say that his third book, The Lost Kingdom, doesn’t quite match up, one should keep that high (extremely high) bar in mind. Despite being weaker in comparison, it’s still a pretty good book, and it comes as all his others have with an excellent ending.

The Lost Kingdom is set in a slightly alternate colonial America in the mid-1700s. War is clearly on the horizon, if not with England, then with the French, who are militarizing their lands in the Ohio region and expelling intruders. An expedition o... Read More

A Taste for Monsters: Strong characterization and premise but plotting a bit pale

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A Taste for Monsters by Matthew Kirby

Matthew Kirby’s first two books, The Clockwork Three and Icefall are, I think, two of the best constructed and ambitious YA books out there. I haven’t been equally impressed with the ones since, though they still show marks of a fine craftsman in various aspects. Where then does his latest, A Taste for Monsters, fall? I’d say somewhere in between — better than the last few thanks to more vivid characters, a fine sense of the macabre, and deft handling of suspense; but not rising to the level of the first ones due to so... Read More

Bill chats with Matthew Kirby

Matthew Kirby is a highly acclaimed author of several Middle Grade /Young Adult novels, including Icefall (which won an Edgar Award) and The Clockwork Three. A former school psychologist, Kirby now lives in Idaho, where he is currently at work on several upcoming novels. He graciously gave up some time to talk to me about his most recent novel, The Lost Kingdom, and what he has planned for the future.

Bill Capossere: It seems to me that The Lost Kingdom skews younger than your prior two books, in the sense that while all three can be enjoyed by Middle Grade or Young Adult audiences, the other two, especially Icefall, can lay claim as well to older audiences due to a more mature sense of richness and complexity. The structure of The Lost Kingdom, for instance, is pretty linear and straightforward, w... Read More