Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum
Funaro, Gregory. Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum
January 5th 2016 by Disney Hyperion
ARC from Young Adult Books Central
With the Odditorium on the run, Grubb is making peace with the fact that Grim is his father, but since Prince Nightshade is still on the loose, there's not a lot of time to dwell on things. Things get even worse when the banshee Lorcan catches up with the group over Ireland, and wants to capture Cleona, who is powering the ship. Nigel and Grim are still interested in solving Abel Worthy's murder, as well, but have lots to do, like traveling to a hell mouth to capture demons, who can then be used to power a demon buggy! When Grim consults Professor Bricklewick, the two decide that Nightshade can be dispatched with the sword Excalibur; Grim has the power to release the sword, but only Bricklewick has the map. The sword is in Avalon, and luckily the Odditorium has been fitted out for an underwater journey. Once there, all manner of secrets about the characters' pasts come out, and everyone must work together to make sure that Nightshade is defeated. There are losses, of course, but the Odditorium makes its way back to London, ready for its next adventure.
This is an intriguing blend of Steampunk and Arthurian legend, and packed with all sorts of adventure and magic. The characters are intertwined in very clever ways, and the secrets are revealed at satisfying intervals.
The characters' relationships change and grow in this book-- Grubb gets used to having a father, Cleona has a surprising relationship with Lorcan, and several of the characters have other identifities revealed. The watch Mack again plays a pivotal, if somewhat smaller, role in this installment, and sees some of his powers restored. Even Mrs. Pinch has some good moments of interaction with others, aside from her regular interjections of "Well, blind me!"
The use of Arthurian legend is somewhat like Salerni's in The Eighth Day, but with a Victorian setting. I can also see this being enjoyed by fans of Reeve's Mortal Engines series-- there are not that many books about flying building or cities, and the Odditorium is a great backdrop for this action-packed tale of traveling and fighting evil.