Pub Date 02 Jan 2024
PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group, Middle Grade Fantasy LGBT Horror Queer
This is the perfect middle-grade read for those who love eerie stories of curses, witches even demons wrapped with magic and mystery but want to read something different/unique from what has been filling the market. The set is unique as well and the bog being bog has enough symbolism of time and history, giving magical vibes that help with the world-building.
The author chose to write a first-person present tense and we can hear Jim's comments as well. Plus the beginning has a very strange writing style, it seems the character is always all over the place. This has a reason to be. It helps a lot when we learn about the major plot twist. The author was clever in making us feel this way in the beginning: nothing is quite determined, explained, or set. All is very strange, and seems not to be explained why the parents left them and why Oliver is obsessed with notes, but all gets stitched together making it a great story.
I love an author that makes the end pay off and this book didn't disappoint.
I couldn't resist the cover although now that I read is quite bright for the story. Still, it's gorgeous.
Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for this digital advance readers copy.
From the Publisher:
Dark secrets and unnatural magic abound when a twelve-year-old girl ventures into a bog full of monsters to break a mysterious curse.
Nothing about Kess Pedrock’s life is normal. Not her home (she lives in her family’s Unnatural History Museum), not her interests (hunting for megafauna fossils and skeletons), and not her best friend (a talking demon’s head in a jar named Shrunken Jim).
But things get even stranger than usual when Kess meets Lilou Starling, the new girl in town. Lilou comes to Kess for help breaking a mysterious curse—and the only clue she has leads straight into the center of Eelgrass Bog.
Everyone knows the bog is full of witches, demons, and possibly worse, but Kess and Lilou are determined not to let that stop them. As they investigate the mystery and uncover long-buried secrets, Kess begins to realize that the curse might hit closer to home than she’d ever expected, and she’ll have to summon all her courage to find a way to break it before it’s too late.