Author: Thomas Taylor
Publication Year: 2019
Genre: Middle-Grade Adventure/Fantasy
Number of Pages: 304
Summary: From Goodreads: Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls, and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous malamander creep…
Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger…
Review: I picked up this book earlier this year as part of the Middle-Grade Marvels book club on Twitter. If you’re a fan of middle-grade books, I highly recommend checking this book club out because the members are lovely, and they read some excellent books.
Malamander is the first book in the Legends of Eerie-on-Sea series, and I think it is fantastic. In this book, we meet some very memorable characters, some into contact with some sinister people, explore a town full of history and secrets, and see a mystery unfold that keeps you guessing until the very end.
The first thing I want to talk about is the two main characters, Herbert Lemon and Violet Parma. Herbie is the Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, and he takes his job very seriously. He’s awkward, but also brave and loyal, and the kind of character that you can invest in. Herbie and Violet come together when Violet shows up in his Lost-and-Found to ask him for help looking for something she’s lost. Violet Parma is the kind of character that keeps you guessing, in a good way. She’s spontaneous and adventurous, and she’s on a mission to find out what happened to her parents. Together, they make a good team, and you want them to succeed on their mission.
The next thing that I want to talk about is the town of Eerie-on-Sea. Eerie-on-Sea is a strange little town on the sea. In the summer, it’s full of tourists and life, but it’s a completely different place in the winter, and eerie is only one word you could use to describe it. The town is the home of a number of legends, including the legend of the Malamander, a sea creature with some terrifying legends surrounding it. It’s also a town full of a unique cast of characters that play an important role in the story as Herbie and Violet go on their adventure.
I love the mystery in this book and all the twists and turns that the story takes while Herbie and Violet try to solve it. I like the use of the legend of the Malamander and trying to figure out what’s real and what is legend. I also enjoyed that it was the kind of mystery and story that made you wonder who you could trust until the very end. The villains in this book are quite scary, and some moments leave you on the edge of your seat, hoping that the main characters will be okay.
The final thing that I want to mention is that this book features a talking cat, which is an amazing feature that more books need.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series and adventure back to Eerie-on-Sea.
Rating: 4 Stars!