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Thomas Taylor
Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781406386288

This is a seriously exciting and slightly creepy adventure, bringing a whole new world of a seaside town vividly to life. Herbie Lemon is the Lost and Founder of the Nautilus Hotel in Eerie-On-Sea, an aptly named seaside town.

Then his life is turned upside down by a mysterious girl crashing through his window. She wants to use his services to find her parents, who disappeared when she was a baby. It is possible that the disappearances had something to do with the legend of the Malamander, the sea monster that supposedly lives in the waters off the coast. Together Herbie and Violet begin an adventure full of thrills and tension and peopled with larger than life townspeople.

This book is so vividly drawn I could imagine all the people in it as well as the places. It is atmospheric and uses real legends and myths as part of the plot - such as the hotel owner named Lady Kraken. In short it is a very clever piece of storytelling by someone who actually lives in a town that might be the real Eerie-On-Sea.

I can see children aged 8+ loving this book because everyone likes a scary story, particularly when you are warm and safe inside. This book would be great to read aloud or to be a core text as part of a topic on the seaside, or myths and legends.

I read it in one go and my 11 year old did too - he said it was too exciting to put down and eat! I can entirely see why it sparked a bidding war among publishers and I hope the clues left by the end of the book, mean there is another book in the series to follow soon.

304 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by Jacqueline Harris, teacher


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