119. Sea Monsters and Other Delicacies

Sea Monsters and Other Delicacies by David Sinden, Matthew Morgan & Guy Macdonald
Illustrated by Johnny Duddle
An Awfully Beastly Business, Book Two

Pages: 192
Ages: 7-11
Finished: Jul. 2 2009
First Published: 2008 (UK), Apr. 28 '09 (Can/US)
Genre: children, fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:
It was night, and the cover of darkness, a fishing boat puttered across the sea.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series. Read aloud to my 9yo. I received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Comments: Right from page one we find Baron Marackai is back on the scene and up to no good. But we don't find out his true dastardly plan until much closer to the end of the book. Meanwhile, Ulf and Dr. Fielding along with Tiana, the fairy and Orson, the giant have their hands full trying to figure out how to save the life of a dying Redback, the most venomous sea monster in existence. Ulf finds notes from Professor Farraway in his book that he has hidden from the first book in this series and tries to get everyone to believe him that the plan will work. When no one agrees Ulf decides to take matters into his own hands.

Again the 9yo loved this book, even more so than the first. These books are definitely written to a boy audience with plenty of gross-out moments and a fair share of derring-do and squeamish moments. Sensitive children will probably not find these the same laugh out loud thrill that my son did. After reading book one ds got wise and figured out the secret about 5 chapters in, but I give the authors credit there were no clues. It's just like the The Series of Unfortunate Events books where Count Olaf shows up every time. With this series we have the much more sinister Baron Marackai, whose not even above murder or cooking someone alive, all in good fun though.

Rather simplistic plot, not a lot of character development, this is a just-for-fun book that younger kids are going to love, both the adventure and the characters. Both ds and I love Druce, the gargoyle. Rollicking shenanigans filled with seabeasts and menacing villains. Fun! Book Three Bang Goes a Troll will be out in September '09. Ds can hardly wait for it.

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