'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 21 August 2020

Review: Gargantis

I haven’t read Malamander by Thomas Taylor. I didn’t actually realise Gargantis was its sequel.

But I’m delighted to report, it really doesn’t matter if you’ve read Malamander. At all.

Sequels that don’t require you to have read the prequel both fascinate and excite me. They’re not an easy thing to pull off, but they make a book series so accessible for readers. I can’t wait to go back and read Malamander to find out some of the ‘before’ stuff. But in the meantime, I’ve read a brilliant middle grade novel.

So let’s chat about it… Gargantis centres around Herbert “Herbie” Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel in the sea-side town of Eerie-on-Sea. 

Herbie’s job is to find the owners of lost things uncovered at the hotel, and he takes his job very seriously. He’s also very good at it.

But as a dangerous storm rages across the town, a stranger appears and a mysterious bottle washes up on the beach, Herbie and his best friend Violet end up on a wild (and wet) adventure neither one of them expected.

Everyone seems to have a claim on the strange bottle, and it’s Herbie’s job to uncover the truth of its origins, but can he stay true to the Lost-and-Founder code when his life is threatened from every angle

Gargantis, and I would guess Malamander before it, is a gripping, engaging and unique story that will trigger tingles of delight down your spine. Thomas Taylor’s writing style is fresh and special. It’s something different, something cool. It’s magical and fantastical.

This is a middle grade novel that isn’t easily forgotten. It’s fantasy, it’s mystery, it’s adventure too. If you’re looking for something fresh and cool from the middle grade section, I highly recommend checking out Gargantis. And you may like to — but you don’t have to — check out Malamander first.

Title: Gargantis
Author: Thomas Taylor
Publisher: Walker Books, $17.99 
Publication Date: 1 May 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781406386295
For ages: 8+
Type: Middle Grade Fiction