“The Nutcracker: Rise of the Machines” by Mark Sherriff

“The Nutcracker: Rise of the Machines” by Mark Sherriff 664 1024 Reader Views Kids

The Nutcracker: Rise of the Machines

Mark Sherriff
Independently Published (2023)
ISBN:  979-8863762098
Reviewed by Kenneth Onyenwe for Reader Views (11/2023)

Nutville is a peninsula home to all kinds of nuts. Life evolved from lifeless nuts and developed attributes that were able to keep squirrel predators away. One day, a sky-scraping, generous gift called The Nutcracker was given to the town. The Nutcracker is a mechanical marvel in Nutville’s central plaza, and it was presented to the inhabitants as a symbol of refuge, efficiency, and a brighter future.  So begins “The Nutcracker: Rise of the Machines” by Mark Sherriff.

On that fateful day, as Hazel was heading home from her shop, a gust of wind that carried her helmet proved to be the guide to a graveyard on the outskirts of the city, where she met Kernel, a respected military figure who revealed that the Nutcracker might not be what it portrays. Kernal left his dying wishes with Hazel, who embarked on a journey to find the truth about The Nutcracker.

Readers will learn from this book that to execute a project perfectly, it is necessary to assemble the best team players. This book portrays a unique story: wars don’t only happen among humans but also between trees. The enduring message that good ultimately triumphs over evil, despite delays, resonates throughout the story. However, I found myself wishing for additional background on Al Monde, the creator of The Nutcracker, particularly regarding the establishment of his factory and the formation of his alliance with the squirrels.

The author writes well and knows how to engage his readers. I love how he shaped the characters and gave life to the trees with human attributes. Sherriff masterfully wove the plot and settings, making me feel as though I was a part of the story’s tapestry. The beautiful illustrations added to the story and helped to create the scenario in the reader’s mind. My favorite character in this book is Hazel. Her bravery and mobilization helped the nuts fight the squirrels and Al Monde. The narrative of this book unfolds seamlessly; I encountered no uncertainties throughout my reading journey. The story reaches a satisfying conclusion, with the author fully honoring the book’s title.

Written for ages 8 to 12, I heartily recommend “The Nutcracker: Rise of the Machines” by Mark Sherriff to anyone interested in reading beautifully crafted fairy tales.

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