Friday, April 15

The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions

The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions
Written by Tracey Hecht, illustrated by Kate Liebman

My rating: ★★½

ISBN: 978-1944020002
Publisher: Fabled Films Press
Date of publication: April 19, 2016
Age: Grades 2 - 6
Genre: Mystery

Themes: nocturnal animals, abductions, friendship, sports

Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin, and Bismark, a loud-mouthed, pint-sized sugar glider—three unlikely friends who form a brigade of the night after a random encounter with a blood-thirsty snake. It's just in time because something is threatening their night realm. Animals are disappearing without a trace. Together with the help of a wombat, a band of coyotes and many others, Dawn, Tobin and Bismark journey to the depths of the earth in a wacky, high stakes game that will determine all of their survival. (see the book trailer here)

Points for creativity, that's for sure. I will say that I have never read a book where the main characters include a pangolin and sugar glider. Actually, there's all sorts of fascinating creatures that the reader is introduced to and little tidbits of actual animal facts. It's quite informational, actually...up to a point. The food chain seems to be a bit ignored, among several other fictional elements created to make the story work. I wouldn't normally mind a kiwi bird being used as a hockey stick in a story, but the juxtaposition with actual facts make the whole story come off a bit farfetched. This is furthered by a lot of convenient plot points to make the story work. For instance, the way the three main animals become friends in the first place happens all in about one page with little concern for depth or believability. The characters themselves are quite flat, but characters indeed. Tobin is delightfully sweet, which is a nice balance to the rather annoying Bismark (I wish he'd stick with the random vocabulary just one foreign language). Altogether, it's just...cute.

So while there are a lot of liberties taken, I was still engrossed with the climax (even though it was not at all what I would've expected). The mystery itself was fun and unpredictable. It's definitely targeted towards the juvenile audience because it is, itself, rather juvenile. It's cutesy. Which, I don't mind recommending, but I don't know that I'll be anxious to read the sequels. If you are interested in a fun, random story featuring animals that don't usually get the spotlight, give this a try.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

(I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review)

No comments:

Post a Comment