The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding
Alexandra Bracken


Every family has secrets - but not every family has a secret pact with a demon. A darkly comic tale with thrilling twists and turns that will keep every reader guessing. Perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket, Jonathan Stroud and Skulduggery Pleasant. Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his remarkable family. So, when he discovers that an 800-year-old demon called Alastor is responsible for their luck - and that this demon is currently living inside him - he's more than a little surprised. Alastor isn't keen to be banished back to the demon realm and will do anything to try and trick his unwilling host into a contract - from nasty insults to wild promises. And even more unnerving, his power over Prosper seems to be growing with each passing night. Prosper has only days to break the curse - a feat that seems impossible. But with the help of a feisty witch-in-training, maybe he can do it?

Your reviews

Azra, 11
The more you delve into this book the better it gets and there is always a mystery to solve - a demon's curse has to be broken. You won't be able to put the book down!
Emily Marcuccilli, 12
Young Prosper Redding really doesn't seem to fit in. Born into an illustrious American family that can trace its ancestry back to the time of the Pilgrim Fathers, poor Prosper feels thoroughly unexceptional. Unexceptional, that is, until he discovers that an ancestor made a pact with a malefactor which he later broke, and this demon has now taken up residence inside Prosper with the sole purpose of destroying the Redding family.

The voice of the narrator, Prosper, is a real strength of this story. He is completely believable and has a wonderfully dry sense of humour. Yet within Prosper there is another, internal voice: that of the demon Alastor, and this provides an extra dimension to the dialogue which the author uses to great effect.

I will confess to wondering where this story was going as I read the opening chapters, as the tongue-in-cheek humour felt at odds with the events taking place, but as the plot unfolded and I got to know Prosper better, I really got on board with this compelling story. The spooky setting of Redhood, the Founder's Day rituals, 'haunted' house, Halloween touches and historical colour bring events and characters to life and bathe the plot in an eerie sense of the past, while contrasting with the everyday life of a present-day tweenage misfit.

With a film in the offing, this is one to read before it hits the big screen.

362 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Emily Marcuccilli, school librarian

reading zone homepage
Young Adult SchoolZone FamilyZone Library zone
ReadingZone Book Shop