Monday, May 20, 2024

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with a review of Mermedusa (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea #5) by Thomas Taylor

Mermedusa (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea#5) by Thomas Taylor
Publisher:  Walker Books US
Format:  E-ARC
Number of pages:   336 pages
Publishing:   June 14th, 2024
Source:  Edelweiss+

Opening Line: "Time.  It's just one thing after another, isn't it?"

Mermedusa begins with Herbie and Violet (Vi) in the Lost Founders office of the Grand Nautilus Hotel, when Herbie begins to have a dizzy, eerie, and queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.  Can it be because of the new lost and found object that showed up at his desk?  A wristwatch, that's "dead" or "frozen forever at the moment of some terrible crime..." professes Violet.  Yet, neither can come up with a reason as to how it ended up behind a radiator in the hotel restaurant and now in Herbie's possession.    

Herbie and Violet agree to put the watch aside for the moment, as it's midwinter and they've previously agreed to help Blaze with his Monster Tour.  They are supposed to show the three new guests that have just arrived in Eerie-on-Sea (EOS), Professor Herman Newtiss, the host of the Anomalous Phenomena podcast and his two assistants, Angela and Fluffy Mike around.  The podcast crew are in town searching for the terrifying and legendary Malamander, while also hoping to uncover the many hidden secrets of EOS.  

Professor Newtiss has been interested in Sebastian Eels for some time as Eels is an expert on EOS's folklore, having stolen most of the research, books and artifacts that are in existence on it.  The Professor consulted Vi and Herbie because they're the ones who know Eels best.  If they can find out what Eels is up to, he will provide them with his notes about Violet's dad's mysterious disappearance and Herbie's origins.  To get them started, the professor provided them with a clue from Eels diary, "when I was only twelve years old, I sold my soul for Kraken Gold." Soon Vi and Herbie are setting sail for the dangerous Dismal Beacon, the site where Sebastian Eel's sister mysteriously vanished years ago hoping to uncover the connection that ties him to their shared mysteries. 

Conclusions to a beloved series are always difficult.  Taylor does a remarkable job of answering all the various questions that have been lingering across the series.  I loved that all the characters are present in this book one way or the other, and I really enjoyed how things were wrapped up. The Berthday for Vi was a nice touch.  And as usual, the illustrations are wonderful.  

Each of Taylor's books in the series are filled with action, danger and delightfully creepy monsters.  We've had the Malmander, Gargantis, Shadowghast, Festergrimm and now the Mermedusa.  Each creature a bit more terrifying than the last.  There's so much to love about this series, the adventure, mystery and the friendship between Vi and Herbie.  Of course, there's also finally uncovering those lingering questions about Violet's father and Herbie's past.  It seems perfect to be ending the series with where it began, with the Malmander wreaking havoc once again.  I enjoyed learning more about Sebastian Eel as a kid.  I've always thought that he made the perfect sort of villain and hearing about the cause of his sister's disappearance really drove that point home.  Overall, a lovely series that I hope to revisit again.  

 I hope you'll check out all the other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge's blog HERE                 


  1. That's great that you've followed this series and found the ending satisfying. You're right that it's hard to answer all the questions and tie up the loose ends in a way that readers will enjoy.

  2. What an intriguing series for readers. The characters sound inviting and I love the mystery aspect of this series. Great review!

  3. This sounds like a wonderful series, Brenda—a fantasy series with an emphasis on sea monsters? How delightful! I'm really glad this last book in the series ties up the loose ends, and I get that coming to the end of the final book is always a difficult experience. Also, is Herman Newtiss's name a pun on the word hermeneutics? If so, that's super-fun! Thanks so much for the thoughtful review, and enjoy your week!

  4. Successfully wrapping up a series is a real feat. Glad this author was able to do that. I love the names of the monsters. Thanks for your review.

  5. I love the thought of a mer-medussa! I see that I'm going to need to do some catching up with this series

  6. Good that the series has ended in a satisfying way. That's definitely hard to do.

  7. I can't believe this series has wrapped up at five books! I've only read MALAMANDER but it sounds like I should keep going.