Title: Alistair Grim's Odditorium
Author: Gregory Funaro
Published: 6th January 2015
My Rating: 4/5
Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master. All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own. There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands—and his new family from suffering a terrible fate. Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.
I received this book in an exchange for an honest review, thanks to Netgalley and Disney Hyperion
Oh god! This book! I was looking forward to reading this book when I first started it, however I started losing interest when the reading slump striked again so this book took me longer than expected.
This book is definitely one of the strangest book I have read, by strange I don't mean weird or that I did not enjoy it. Quite the opposite actually, I enjoyed the book very much, like alot!! Not that I was not expecting to, this brought back childhood memories and it made me love reading the book even more.
Grubb is Alistair's son, he was abandoned when he was born. Till the end of the story the reason is still unknown and I was hoping to find out why as the more it was highlighted in the book the more I wanted to know why? Why did she leave him to the Yellow fairy? What happened to her if she loved Alistair that much? These and many more questions were haunting me till the end of the book, I knew the book would be a great read but I kept thinking what is it about this book that is attracting my attention? I finally got my answer half way through the book!
Now I did not expect this book to have a Arthurian Legend in there, that was definitely a surprise and then Lady of the Lake! oh my word! That was totally unexpected.
This is told from Grubb's pov, it does not give too much detail about what Grubb's life was like before he met his father but we are told it was not pleasant. The real action begins when on one of their journey they trap Lorcan Dalach, who is a Gallownog (he enforces the banishee law and was betrothed to Cleona). These two in particular are very interesting characters, what I was not expecting from the book was to explore the idea of these two being lovers. Shocked? You and me both, I did not see that coming but I kind of felt sorry for them. At the beginning it seems like he wanted to take her away because he wanted to punish her (or was like ordered to bring her) which would have been exile, however as you carry on reading the book you realise that these two indeed love one another. I may have cried towards the end with what happened to Dalach, maybe I did. You will never know.
Essentially, Alistair is on a mission to try and get as much animus (magic) he can find in order to fight Prince Nightshade. The battle is on with who can get the most and defeat the other, Alistair wants to stop the Prince Nightshade from creating a undead army which is where they travel to Avalon, hence the Arthurian Legend takes place.
A very light hearted, sweet, innocent, magic tale which will surely win the heart of many readers. If you like middle grade stories which are naive, innocent and magical then this is the story for you.