Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep. All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach to escape his cruel master. 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.
I won a copy of this book through a good reads giveaway. This has not influenced or biased my opinions.
A fun, original story that is fast-paced and well narrated. I enjoyed the characters and their stories. Each character had a strong personality and a unique voice. The only character who shows the least amount of personality is Alistair Grim, but I can tell there is more to come. There is a lot of mystery yet to be unveiled.
Grubb, the narrator of the story, is a sweet young boy who is thrown into a world of magic and does his very best to keep those he cares for safe. Grubb has some cute quirks, especially when referring to his age as “12 or thereabouts,” how he spells his name “spelled like the worm but with a double b” (the extra “b” being for blessing), or his cute Oliver Twist-like accent. He never complains and always works his hardest even when he’s faced with impossible situations that seem unwinnable. He is so easy to like as is the many other characters that populate the Odditorium.
The story is an unexpected adventure that is thoroughly entertaining. While there is one predictable thread in the storyline, it is otherwise a creative fantasy journey. It keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next. The author is good at chapter-to-chapter cliff hangers, so you can't stop after just one chapter!
While this is an easy read, its by no means a simple story. There is beautiful allegory about how in the Odditorium, the ordinary is odd, and the most powerful of all odditoria is love. The artwork is fun as well. It adds to the writing style as being a bit odd, a bit dark at times, but always enchanting!
If you’re looking for either of the following in your books, this is a story for you: fairies, goblins, trolls, dragons, samurai, ninjas, banshees, sirens, talking pocket watches, witches, Mary-Poppin-ish London, chimney sweeps, orphans with accents, zombie Roman soldiers, organs, steampunk-like constructs, enchanted oddities, magic (both good and evil), adventure, and a good definition of what makes a family.
There have been a lot of vampire stories and twists on fairy tales overwhelming the bookstore shelves, so it’s nice to find a story like this. It’s something completely different from the recent trends, and it’s fun! I highly recommend. I cannot wait until the next book!!! Mr. Funaro better be cracking away on that! The last couple chapters provide nice closure yet also set us up for a sequel. Please, please, please more – like right now!!!
"Descendants of Avalon"
Released via Inklings Publishing
("The Forgotten" volume 2)
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse