Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Blurb: Who will uncover the secret of the malamander? In the basement of the Grand Nautilus Hotel, a mysterious girl crashes into Herbie Lemon’s room and cries, “Hide me!”
In the window of the Eerie Book Dispensary, a mechanical mermonkey sits and waits.
And out beyond the pier, something stirs. Could the legendary malamander have returned?

Title: Malamander

Author: Thomas Taylor

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Fiction, Children’s, Middle Grade, Adventure, Mystery


This book follows Herbie Lemon, chief Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, and his new found friend, Violet Parma, on their quest to discover the truth behind the disappearance of Violet’s parents and the mystery behind the terrifying monster that haunts Eerie-on-Sea, the Malamander. Full of secrets in the mist and quirky characters, this book really does have a bit of everything; adventure, mystery, friendship and a hint of spook, there’s something for every one.

This book was such a fun read! It’s another on my journey into middle grade fiction and it really didn’t disappoint. The characters were obviously well planned and all fleshed out to have such different and interesting personalities. Herbie, who is a wise beyond his years, taking his job very seriously, while still showing the cheeky side of being young. Violet, with her brave determination to find out about her parents, with a vulnerable side of just wanting a family. Right down to Jenny Hanniver, owner of the Eerie Book Dispensary, who knows more about the world than she lets on, and adorable Mrs Fossil who is as erractic as she is wonderful, someone full of stories and pockets full of strange objects. Even the names gave me a smile with the two main characters being named after classic childhood sweets! The plot was well paced, not leaving us hanging around wondering what comes next, but the clues come slowly, bit by bit, setting the story up well for the big reveal at the end.

I also love that this book has its own website! You can explore an interactive map of Eerie-on-Sea, get to know more about the characters and find out more about the story of the Malamander. You can find it here!

As for what I disliked about this book, I wanted to know more about what happened to Violet’s parents. We still don’t know why they never returned for Violet, or even if they were about to. Maybe there will be a follow up one day where Herbie and Violet will meet again, heading off on another adventure.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to any readers who love mystery and intrigue and aren’t scared of a grouchy sea monster. Extra points definitely go for the interactive website and map which really helps to throw you into the world of the Malamander.

Rating: 4/5

Recommend?: Yes

Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you read any of the books in this series? I’d love to know! 

You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

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