If it’s fear that keeps the senses sharp, all five of Grubb Grim’s must be knives.
Grubb now knows his last name is Grim and, like his father, Alistair, has a knack for attracting danger, adventure, and Odditoria. In this second installment of the series, the Odditorium (a steampunk ship controlled by pipe organ) and all of its residents are fugitives after taking the rap for Prince Nightshade’s path of destruction in London. To defeat the now-nowhere-to-be-found prince, Grubb, his father, and the crew must find the secret nautical gate to an otherworldly kingdom in order to “borrow” Excalibur—the only thing that can destroy Nightshade’s impenetrable armor. Finding the famed sword is only the tip of the odd-berg as Grubb discovers his life is part of an unfolding prophecy. As in series opener Alistair Grim’s Odditorium (2015), Grubb speaks directly to the audience. Where this narrative technique paired with the saturation of character introductions was distracting in Book 1, here it finds its footing. Demons, murder, dark hearts, and a toothy sea serpent keep any hopes of permanent sunshine dim (thank goodness). Finding power in the ordinary may be the overarching message, but why to befriend a bounty-hunting banshee, what drives a beautiful witch mad, where Excalibur is hidden, and how to stop time are all supplementary lessons in sorcery in this romp.
Dive head-, feet-, or face-first into this delicious danger. (character list) (Fantasy. 10-13)