Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Alistair Grim's Odditorium by Gregory Funaro


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Ages 8-12
Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.
All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.
There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.
Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.

MY TAKE:
This is the kind of book that makes you say "Just one more chapter," even though it's already late at night.

In Alistair Grim's Odditorium, Grubb is a young chimneysweep who finds himself in the employment of Alistair Grim after he runs away from his cruel foster father. Mr. Grim runs an Odditorium filled with magical objects and beings that Grubb comes to love as his family. However, not everything is as it seems. Mr. Grim has a nemesis that may spell doom for not only the beings in the Odditorium, but the rest of the world as well.

I knew I'd like this book, but I didn't expect to like it as much as I actually did. It's a deftly woven tale with likable characters and a charming protagonist. There's plenty of action here, and since it's the first book in a series, there are plenty of back stories told as well as laying the groundwork for future novels.

I liked most of the male characters, as well as Mrs. Pinch, the housekeeper, but I was annoyed by Cleona and Gwendolyn. Both of them just rubbed me the wrong way, but Gwendolyn only slightly, while Cleona just really annoyed me.

There were shades of Howl's Moving Castle, for me, but not so much that it feels derivative. It's more of like a homage, if ever. This book could actually potentially be a blockbuster movie trilogy or series, but it'd have to have a big budget or else be done using animation.

Thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. Most of the characters are likable and interesting.
  2. There's plenty of action.
  3. It has the makings of an exciting series.

THE BAD:

  1. There were a couple of characters that were quite irritating. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You like mythology.
  2. You like fantasy books.
  3. You are looking for an interesting series to start. 

RATING:
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