Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum by Gregory Funaro
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
"When Grubb, an orphan and runaway chimney sweep, entered the wondrous world of the Odditorium, his life changed forever. Apprenticed to the mechanical marvel’s strange proprietor, Alistair Grim, Grubb unfortunately must settle into his new position on the lam, as the whole of London is convinced that Alistair Grim is a villain bent on mass destruction. Grim, however, has come up with a plan to expose the real villain: Prince Nightshade, a wicked necromancer who wants the Odditorium’s power source for himself.
With the evil prince hot on their trail, Grim, Grubb and the rest of the Odditorium's crew embark on a perilous adventure to find the legendary sword Excalibur: the only weapon capable of penetrating Nightshade's magical suit of armor. As expected, their quest turns out to be anything but ordinary. Not only can the Odditorium fly, but it can also swim! And so the crew battens down the hatches and sets off on an underwater voyage to the otherworldly realm of Avalon, home to Excalibur. Along the way, they must battle a banshee assassin, sea monsters, and a witch who seeks revenge on Alistair Grim for stealing her magical objects.
But that’s not all. Unbeknownst to Grubb and the others, their fate has been written in an ancient Avalonian prophecy—a prophecy that holds the key to a destiny not even Alistair Grim could have possibly imagined."
This is a story about a boy whose father is a magician and they live in this flying magical base in the 1800's fighting off evil villains. Anyone who knows my reading tastes knows this is right up my alley so naturally I wanted to give it a read.
I really, really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't get into it at all. I read about 1/3 of the book before I gave up.
Firstly I struggled with the language being spoken. I know it was supposed to be in period but honestly it was so hard to follow and get into the rhythm of. It really didn't work for me.
Secondly I didn't know this was the second book in the series so there was a lot of stuff being said in reference to the last book. Eventually the story in this book started and it was ok but I spent most of the first chapter not having a clue as to what was going on.
Lastly I just wasn't feeling the characters at all. I am not sure why but I couldn't engage with them or their storylines.
I suspect 10 year old boys who read this will enjoy the story, but for me I just couldn't get into it. Which was a shame as I really had high hopes for this book.