Friday, December 11

Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum (and BOOK GIVEAWAY!)

Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum
(Odditorium #2)
Gregory Funaro

My rating: ★★★★½

ISBN: 978-1484700075
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date of publication: January 5, 2016
Age: Grades 4 - 7
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: love, family relationships, magic, Arthurian lore, good vs. evil

Grubb, once an orphaned chimney sweep, is enjoying his apprenticeship on the Odditorium with genius sorcerer Alistair Grim. However, the rest of England is convinced that Grim is a villain. The real villain? Prince Nightshade, a wicked necromancer who wants the Odditorium's power source for himself. With the evil prince hot on their trail, Grim, Grubb and the rest of the Odditorium's crew embark on a perilous adventure to find the legendary sword Excalibur: the only weapon capable of penetrating Nightshade's magical suit of armor. Along the way, they must battle a banshee assassin, sea monsters, and a mad witch bent on revenge. But that's not all. Unbeknownst to Grubb and the others, their fate has been written in an ancient Avalonian prophecy—a prophecy that holds the key to a destiny not even Alistair Grim could have imagined.

Was I super excited to get my hands on this sequel? Oh yeah. Was it worth it? Definitely. This story was just as action-packed and exciting as the first with some extra intrigue thrown in. A lot of the storyline motifs echo the first book—such as love being the best magic, what family means, etc.—but there's a new Arthurian spin. The hunt for Excalibur and the surrounding lore give the tale some nice depth. The only (small) complaint I had was that the story almost had two climaxes, so that I felt like I was on a bit of a roller coaster. Kids, I'm sure, will love it, though. It's just that much more exciting!

The characters are, again, fantastic. Grim could be a tad annoying because he has a habit of not sharing his plans. Good thing Grubb is just so trusting and loving (he's such a great kid!). And the way Grubb narrates the tale provides just enough humor and enticement. Both are still troubled by their pasts and new intrigue provides some more depth to these characters. New characters add some charm, too. Love it.

So if you loved the first, you're going to love this one. Be excited. If you haven't touched the series—I highly recommend it. In fact, I'm so excited about it, I want to give you a copy of the first book! AUTOGRAPHED! Yay! (In case you want to brush up on why the first book was so fantastic, see my review here). Enter the drawing below for a chance to get the book (just before Christmas—what a perfect gift!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And don't forget! Book #2 will be here January 5th!

Pre-order now on Amazon
Or wait for it at your library

(Digital ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review)

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