Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: The Doldrums, by Nicholas Gannon

The Doldrums

Archer B. Helmsley wants an adventure. No, he needs an adventure. His grandparents were famous explorers . . . until they got stuck on an iceberg. Now Archer's mother barely lets him out of the house. As if that would stop a true Helmsley. Archer enlists Adelaide—the girl who, according to rumor, lost her leg to a crocodile—and Oliver—the boy next door—to help him rescue his grandparents. 

What a fun book! It took me forever to read it, simply because I haven't had more than ten minutes at a stretch to read. Anyone without four children needing six Halloween costumes and an entire house to paint will no doubt tear through this in one or two sittings. 

Other than the delightfully evil Mrs. Murkley, characters are multi-layered and intriguing. While some surprises are easy for readers to figure out before the three children do, others are indeed a surprise, and add more depth to certain characters. Amazing illustrations, fantastical but not fantasy, and while the real action happens in a rush over the last 50 pages, the whole story has the feel of an adventure. The ending was not at all what I expected, but I was wholly satisfied with it. Sequel, please, Mr. Gannon?? I definitely want to see more of this entire cast - even Mrs. Murkley!

*Note: The younger me would have ADORED this book, so I will be looking out for "younger me"s to hand it off to. Think children who like C.S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, E. Nesbit, or Kate Coombs.

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