Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Alistair Grim's Odditorium by Gregory Funaro

Alistair Grim's Odditorium (Odditorium, #1)Grubb is treated poorly by the chimney sweep caring for him, and he sneaks into a wagon to escape more punishment. He ends up in the Odditorium, and the owner, Alistair Grim, agrees to let him stay if he promises to never share what he might see. Grubb sees some strange things including a talking pocket watch. One day, Grubb leaves the building but forgets the watch is in his pocket, and that leads to disaster. The watch is powered by blue magic which attracts shadow hounds who are on the lookout for evil spirits. The Black Fairy attacks the Odditorium, and Prince Nightshade arrives to finish the job. Grim has something the prince wants, and the prince plans to use it to create a huge army of undead. However, when Grim starts to play the organ, something truly amazing happens!

This book got better as I got farther into it, to the point where I think it's the best speculative fiction I've read in 2015. Odditoria are simply things, living or not, that are powered by magic. Grubb is a curious character whose fear of getting into trouble creates additional problems. He's very likable, and readers will be able to connect with him. Grim's character is not easily rattled, even when things seem to be going wrong. While the first part of the book was interesting as I learned about the Odditorium, the rest of the book was adventurous and action-packed. There were chases, captures, escapes, and battles. Each chapter seemed to reveal new secrets about Grim's past, and Grubb's past too. I highly recommend this book!

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