A BEGINNING of a series, author Thomas Taylor brings the adventure of chasing mysteries to life in this book set in the wintery seaside town Eerie-on-Sea.
Malamander follows 12-year-olds’ Herbert Lemon a.k.a Herbie and Violet Parma. The former is a Lost-and-Founder at The Grand Nautilus Hotel, a job given to him by reclusive owner Lady Kraken.
One day while working in his Lost-and-Foundry, Herbie meets a fleeing Violet, and their journey together begins after he agrees to help her locate her missing parents who vanished when she was a baby.
The Malamander is a creature shrouded in mystery as well, that Violet and Herbie have to figure out how the half-human monster links to what happened to the Parma’s.
In the midst of uncovering clues from Mermonkeys in the Eerie Book Dispensary and around town, Herbie is given another task by Lady Kraken when she reveals her all-seeing contraption the cameraluna.
Taylor’s way of weaving in adventure and mystery in a sinister winter scene makes this book an enjoyable read.
There are shades of similarities to other books like the cautionary tone of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, but Malamander can certainly hold its own world.
Many instances in the book feel like the whole town might fall into the sea at any moment, like Seegol’s Diner, a place that shudders every time the waves hit.
The intriguing storyline, coupled with the almost menacing surroundings (except for Herbie’s Lost-and-Foundry), definitely show signs to a beginning of a solid series.
With Herbie and Violet raising even more questions at the end of Malamander, all you can do is wait in anticipation for the next instalment of their journey.