Malamander Review

Genre = Children’s, Mystery, Adventure, Fantasy

Author = Thomas Taylor

Info  =


This follows a young man named Herbie who is a lost and founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel in a seaside town. One day a girl appears in his room and says “hide me!” And here begins the adventure that will change their lives forever. It includes the legend of a sea monster, a mechanical mermonkey, lost parents, a lady spying on the town and a boat hook man. Yes I know sounds all very improbable but just for one moment believe and come to Eerie on Sea to see if you can solve the mystery?

My Pitch To You:

I have to say I have read some fantastic 9-12 fiction in the year I read this book they really are pulling out all the stops to make these books as magical and memorable as can be and this one definitely does the trick. This book is written by Thomas Taylor who you may recognize as doing the original covers of the Harry Potter books many years ago well he certainly has brought that magic to the drawings in this book with the incredible map. I go wild for a good map and the little drawings at the start of each chapter which I love because they give you a clue to the chapter.

The plot of this book is truly magical and adventurous because you are going on a journey with these two characters you are glued to their story. It is well paced book with lots of twists and turns and some that I didn’t see coming which is always exciting as nowadays I can guess a lot of them in children’s books but Thomas kept me guessing (I believe it is because I am getting old). It was also like reading a thrilling adult mystery that I wanted to stop reading half way through and start trying to work out whether I could solve the mystery. The ending kept me on the edge of my seat throughout and I couldn’t put it down I just had to know what happened. There are a lot of sub plots in this book which I was impressed that none of them fell by the wayside they all kept developing as the story went on and some still to be solved.

Herbie what a great name I am biased as that was my grandfather’s name but boy is he the sweetest and loveliest character in the world that you just wish you had a friend like that in real life because you know you would have such fun with him. Violet she is such a strong and adventurous character that you just want to say can I tag along because you know when that character grows up she will be an explorer of some kind. Mr Mollusc is hilarious and one of those characters that you can’t help but laugh at his conversations all day I hope we see more of him in the next book. The boathook man that was a complex character that was a bit scary but has a history that is fascinating. The baddie is so sneaking and devious which I love and gives the book a lot of tension.

Overall, this is a fantastic book to sink your teeth into over the winter months as it is a thrilling mystery that you won’t be able to put down and by the end you’ll wish you had the sequel in your hands ready to go. He has this way of transporting you to this place of mystery that you never want to leave you just want to explore more of. This is a great book for eight years old upwards and all other ages and I can’t wait to read the second one. For anyone who loves a good mystery with a treasure twist.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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© 2020 Emily Claire Cannings

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