Tuesday, April 28, 2020

MG Review of Gargantis (Malamander #2) by Thomas Taylor, illustrations by Tom Booth

Gargantis by Thomas Taylor, illustrations by Tom Booth 
Format: ARC paperback

Series: The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea
Publisher:  Walker Books US
Number of Pages:  336
Publishing:  May 12th, 2020
Source:  Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Opening Lines:  "If there's one thing hotels have alot of, it's strangers."  

Gargantis is the second book in The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea series.  Both books are the perfect kind of middle-grade read for anyone who enjoys seaside towns, mysterious parental disappearances, and in the case of the second book there are clockwork devices, and a grand hotel filled with quirky characters.  This time around Herbert Lemon and Violet also have to contend with an ominous storm raging over the town of Eerie-on-Sea and a legendary creature who might just be the reason behind the storm.

Herbert Lemon is the resident Lost-and Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, he's both diligent and duty-bound to match lost things to their owners.  But this time things start out a bit different when a mysterious man comes to Herbert not looking for something he's lost but instead brings him something he's found.   To be exact, a spiky, pearly white shell with a small hole, perhaps it's part of a necklace or maybe that small opening requires a key.  Either way, the man as Herbert now refers to as "Deep Hood," suddenly disappears after leaving the shell in Herbie's care.  After logging the item into his lost and foundery ledger, Herbert sets out to figure out just what the mysterious item is.  Joining in his quest is his best friend Violet.  Violet and Herbie first met when she climbed through Herbie's cellar window pleading for his help in the first book of the series.   Since then they've bonded over the fact that both of their parents are missing.  

As Herbert and Violet begin their sleuthing, there is a terrible storm raging over the town of Eerie-on-Sea.  Legend says that it is caused by a monster called Gargantis who resides in a cave somewhere below the town.  The monster was awakened when something very valuable was stolen from it.  Then Mrs. Fossil is found all tied up in netting, holding a large fish-shaped bottle with a message written on it in Eerie Script.  Everyone in town lays a claim to the fish-shaped bottle, but Herbie is tasked with deciding its fate.  A very important task as what he is holding might be just the thing that Gargantis has been looking for.  

I really adore this series. it's filled with quirky people and so far each book has featured some legendary monstrous creature, the Malmander and now Gargantis.  I found the latest creature was way more creepy and absolutely loved it.  Another thing I particularly enjoyed about this newest book was the additions of Blaze and his Uncle Squint Westerly.  They're fisherfolk who are tied to Gargantis and Blaze is instrumental in helping Herbert to overcome one of his fears.   Deep Hood or the man who declares he also has claims to the fish bottle was also a fun addition.  The illustrations by Tom Booth really make him look creepy and sinister, just loved them.    Violet is so adventurous and headstrong while Herbert is more of a thinker, somewhat timid.  They compliment each other so well.  I feel like there is still so much to learn about the disappearance of their parents, still so many unresolved questions that I was hoping to get answers to.  There were a few more clues or hints as to what happened to them, but I'm really hoping to learn more about them in future adventures.  Overall this is an exciting adventure filled with folklore and legends and wonderful characters.  Be sure to not miss out on the lovely black and white illustrations by Tom Booth too.  

  **A huge thank you to Walker Books for the review copy.**  


Jenna @ Falling Letters said...

Hmm, I really enjoyed Malamander but I was expecting/hoping the sequel would continue in a different direction (i.e. not another monster tale). However, I like what you've said about the characters and the creepy monster - I will have to give it a go.

Brenda said...

Thanks Jenna, I hope you enjoy reading it.