I always enjoy stories that turn the table on cliche, convention and cardboard cutouts.
In Septimus we find a delightfully unusual hero who is modest, inconsequential in appearance, flighty, untidy, eccentric, and inventive. Mainly, he's inventive in developing complicated weaponry, which is pretty ironic when you get to know what a tender-hearted, self sacrificing person Septimus really is, (and you will eventually learn why he chose that trade) but it does send the point home that you can never judge by appearances.
When I first meet Septimus in chapter one I felt a moment of dismay. "Oh please don't tell me this bumbling idiot is going to be the hero...". See how we judge on first sight? I'm ashamed of myself. But I soon found myself rooting for him and you will too.
I could have done with less of Clem Sypher, the inventer of "Sypher's Cure" and more of Septimus though. Clem at times dominated the story, he was larger than life, and while I understood why he was there (to serve as contrast) and although I do feel that he was neccesary, he hogged.
Still a 4 Star read for me and is free on public domain.
MY RATING: G