The Ship Of Doom by M.A. Bennett

Publication Date: 3 March 2022

The Blurb

Greenwich, London, 15th February 1894.

Luna thinks that an evening at her aunt’s butterfly club sounds deathly boring.

But it turns out that the meeting, held in the Butterfly Room at the Greenwich Observatory, is not at all as Luna expects. The Butterfly Club is a society with an unusual secret . . . they use time travel to plunder the future for wonders.

Together with her friends, Konstantin and Aidan, and a clockwork cuckoo, Luna boards the Time Train. The gang travel to 1912 and find themselves aboard a great ship travelling from Southampton to New York. They locate a man called Guglielmo Marconi and his new invention: the wireless radio. But as the ship heads into icy waters, they discover its name:

The RMS TITANIC

Can Luna and the boys save Marconi and his invention from the doomed ship?

Can they get the radio back home to the Butterfly Club?

And how will their actions change the rest of time?

Illustrations by David Dean

The Review

Highly entertaining and thought provoking in equal measure, The Ship Of Doom is a breath taking adventure through time aboard the RMS Titanic.

From the moment we meet Luna, we are transported back to Victorian England at a time where science was the new entertainment and scientists raced to become the first to bring new technologies to the world. Setting themselves in competition with The Royal Society, The Butterfly Club is a collection of some of the greatest minds of the time, including many familiar names from the era.

Once they are transported through time, Luna, Konstantin and Aidan make a great team, and each has their own story to tell. It was fascinating seeing the shift in perspectives of the world in 1914, compared to 1894, from fashion to class, and especially gender. Luna’s observation that, “she wasn’t required to lead but only follow, and she wasn’t required to talk but could only look and listen,” say a lot about values at the time. Men did and women watched. This becomes even more poignant when we meet the elusive Nadia.

I was fascinated walking the decks of the Titanic, from the grandeur of First Class, to the officer’s working areas and then to the depths of the ship – the stokehold and the chambers that were supposed to make it unsinkable. The snobbery Luna encounters in First Class gives her chance to reflect upon her preconceived ideas about society, how different her life is to Aidan’s, and question whether Britain is the place she thinks it is. But, it is Aidan’s conversation with a stoker that really highlights the difference between the Working Class and “the quality”.

Once the floating city meets the iceberg that doomed it, M.A. Bennett does an amazing job of showing the different reactions of people on board, from panic and desperation to stoic acceptance, in a way that is heart-breaking, yet somehow hopeful.

I absolutely loved this immersive adventure, and can’t wait to see what is next for our time-travellers in The Mummy’s Curse.

Great for fans of:

The Ship of Doom (The Butterfly Club series) by M.A. Bennett (£6.99, Welbeck Children’s) available now.

The Teaching Notes

M.A. Bennet has created some fantastic discussion notes to go with The Ship of Doom covering science, history and PSHE topics all found in the book, perfect for use in the classroom or a school book club to dive deeper into the subjects and issues covered in the story, such as:

  • The Butterfly Effect
  • Morse code
  • Rorschach Blot

Please do get in touch if you have any difficulties viewing or downloading the discussion notes

The Giveaway

Like this blog post and leave a comment about where you would travel to in time to win a copy of The Ship Of Doom. You can get an extra entry by heading over to twitter and retweeting my giveaway tweet too. UK and Ireland only. Closes 11.59pm 28th March 2022. Winner selected at random.

Huge thanks to Welbeck Flame for sending me a copy and inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Do make sure you check out all of the other stops.