Middle Grade on Monday – Festergrimm

When Herbie and Violet’s arch-enemy Sebastian Eels turns up in Eerie-on-Sea, seemingly back from the dead, it can only spell bad news. The town may welcome his entrepreneurial scheme to resurrect Festergrimm’s Waxworks, a dusty and defunct old gallery of spooky characters from Eerie legend, but Herbie and Violet are suspicious of his motives. And when they learn the legend of Ludo Festergrimm the clockmaker, creator of a vast mechanical robot that wrought havoc in the wrong hands, they KNOW they’re on the right track. But how can they get the residents of Eerie-on-Sea to believe them?

This is the fourth book in the Legends of Eerie-on-Sea series, and once again it is great!

Eerie-on-Sea is a seaside town out of season, and you can feel that Thomas Taylor knows these towns. He manages to perfectly capture its atmosphere with the somewhat curious shops and quirky villagers. The Flotsamporium, fish and chips on the pier, the bookdispensary with the mermonkey that doesn’t give you the book you want but the one you need, the doctor who also runs a museum,…

We follow Herbert Lemon, who is an orphan who as a baby showed up in a crate of lemons. He works in the Grand Nautilus Hotel (owned, like most of the town, by Lady Kraken) as a Lost-and-Founder. This year he has decided to do NOPE-vember… saying nope to adventures all month. But then a familiar villain arrives back in town and he and Violet are the only ones to see through his lies.

The adventure brings us creepy waxworks who are a bit too alive and a giant mechanical man, and of course a new town legend. As this is the penultimate book, we also really get the feeling that we are getting close to finding out about Herbie’s past and the biggest secret… and I’m here for it!!!

This series, starting with Malamander, is definitely one I would highly recommend. It has the fun and adventure of a good middle grade read, but also has real danger and proper villains and doesn’t simplify things for its audience. They are perfect reads for the colder months, great to get through on a rainy afternoon with a big cup of tea.

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