Book Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Hello everyone, today I am going to be reviewing Malamander, a middle grade book I finished reading (or rather, listening to) just yesterday. This review will be completely spoiler-free, and you can click on the cover image below to go to Goodreads and add this wonderful (though very under-hyped) book to your TBR!

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Synopsis

Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep…

Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger…

My Rating [ ] (4.5 out of 5 stars)
My Review

This was my second audiobook, and my, what an experience! The audiobook was narrated by Will M. Watt, and I absolutely LOVED the narration! It really added to the story. The drama and the constant urgency with which the story was narrated was really cool. I doubt I’d have liked this book as much as I did, if I’d read the e-book or a physical copy. So if you’re looking to read Malamander, I would HIGHLY recommend you listening to it. Trust me, you’ll enjoy that rollercoaster.

The major reason why Malamander got such a good rating from me is because of Herbie, the main character. Herbie was quirky, funny and witty – this made him instantly likeable. I am not saying a main character should always be perfect, but hear this – Malamander is written in first person POV, which means, we get to know the story, the characters, the world, entirely through Herbie’s eyes. I have always believed that it is immensely important to develop a liking to the main character if you’re going to be stuck in his or head for the duration of an entire story. 4 stars out of the 4.5 I gave this book belong to you, Herbie!

If you’re anything like me (by which I mean, a scaredy cat who goes out of their way to avoid reading horror books) and got kinda misled by the synopsis, let me tell you – you have nothing to worry about! Whatever you might assume after reading the synopsis, the tone for most part was Malamander was quite light hearted, and there is hardly any horror element.

I liked the feeling of the entire town Eerie-On-Sea being a friendly (well, mostly!) community where the locals knew and treated each other like family. I also found the idea of Herbie being ‘adopted’ and accepted by the entire town positively endearing. The side characters in the book were quite well-written too.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Malamander to readers of all ages, though I suppose children especially will find this book particularly appealing.

Let’s Chat!

Have you read (or listened to) Malamander? Do you have it on your TBR? If not, did I manage to convince you to read it? Let me know in the comments!

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Bertman || Mini-review, some art, and a little “book scavenger” game of my own!

Hello you guys!! Hope you’re having an amazing day so far!

Today’s post is going to be all about Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, which is a (brilliant, if I do say so myself) middle grade fantasy that I read last week. I didn’t want to write a full review on it because I have no idea what to write so I decided to just to a mash-up kind of thing, which, as the title suggests, includes a mini-review, a Book Scavenger-inspired piece of art, and a fun game at the end! Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Book Scavenger (Book Scavenger, #1)

A hidden book. A found cipher. A game begins . . . .

Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold’s attackers make them their next target. 

(If you click on the cover image above, it will take you straight to Goodreads, so you can add this book to your tbr!)

My Rating :

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The concept of a game with hidden books and clues to find them was so cool! What more could a bookworm like me possibly want? (except now I am left praying that this game existed in real life and I could play it ☹🥺)

I think this story was more plot-driven than character-driven, and though I usually favour the latter, its good to know that there are a whole bunch of amazing plots such as these out there!

I also admire the research the author has put in on different kinds of ciphers and stuff. It really showed, and I like puzzles in general, so I enjoyed reading whatever snippets of information was there about decoding different ciphers.

The character development through the book was executed wonderfully. Emily finally reassessed her priorities (being a good friend definitely beats finding an epic new game😉), and Matthew was a completely different (in a good way!) big brother than he had been at the beginning.

I would definitely recommend this book to all of you bookworms, but if you additionally like a good mystery or deciphering clues, you HAVE to read this!!

(This book is actually first in a series, but it can totally work as a standalone, so for those who avoid series in general, don’t hesitate!)


I think I have mentioned before that I am terrible at all things aesthetic, and that naturally includes drawing. But I had nothing much to do that day, and I had just finished reading Book Scavenger, so I drew a little something in my bullet journal inspired by it.

Yup, it’s our main character, Emily who has found a hidden book wedged between the branches of a tree. There is no exact scene in the book as such, I just invented one, considering that I wanted to keep my work really simple and minimalistic. And to be honest, I actually enjoyed working on this. Who knows, maybe I’ll do this more often!


Time for what you all have been anticipating!! Presenting…Book Scavenger 2.0, created by yours truly!

It is in no way similar to, or as huge and amazing as the Book Scavenger game in the book. It is just a little quiz that I made up. And don’t worry, you don’t have to literally go out and “scavenge” books, all the book scavenging is going to happen in your mind😉

Here’s how it will work :

  • Below is a link to a Google Form that I have created. When you click on the link, you will be taken to the Form.
  • I have written the names of three characters each from 8 different books. It could be main characters, side characters, anything.
  • All you have to do is rack your brain (or maybe Goodreads, though that would technically be cheating😉) and write the name of the book/series in the blanks given
  • (The books I have chosen are pretty popular to reduce the difficulty level)

All the best, book scavengers!! Click HERE to access the Form.


Have you read Book Scavenger? Is it on your TBR? Do you have any ideas for me if I want to do (very simple) journal spreads for some books?

3 things I learnt after reading ‘The Wave’ by Morton Rhue

‘The Wave’ by Morton Rhue was a book that left a lasting impact on my mind, and I am sure it will do the same to you as well. Perhaps if you check out my book review of this very novel The Wave by Morton Rhue (Review) you will get a better understanding of what I am going to talk about in this post.

Here are the 3 main lessons that this amazing novel taught me –

  1. Past horrors can repeat themselves : Though we may believe that horrible crimes, like those done by the Nazis, are purely historical, that is not the case. These behaviors are human, and instead of fading with time, such impulses have only grown within us. The high school students were sure that they would never succumb to and blindly follow the orders of a dictator, like the Germans followed Hitler. But they were wrong. Even on knowing so much of history, they became what we can call a ‘mini Nazi army’.

2. It is very easy to become a part of a group, but very difficult to come out of it and regain your lost individuality : The students in the book had become one unified group, with actions so co-ordinated that it felt as if they were joint together with some invisible bond. They lost their individuality and forgot that each one of them was unique. It is very difficult to overcome group-thinking, and this was what was the main idea of this novel.

3. Not all quick reads are brief and boring : I always used to steer clear of short novels, because for some reason, I felt that they got over too quickly, without narrating the actual story. The Wave begs to differ. The story was comprise, and surprisingly detailed at the same time. After reading this book, I have begun to think that perhaps the length of the novel does not matter as much as the impact the story leaves behind. Yes, not-so-lengthy books, prepared to be devoured!

These were some things I learnt after reading this book. What did this novel teach you? And do you think, like some others, that the Wave did more good than bad? And if you have not read this novel yet, do you plan on reading it now? Do let me know your views in the comments section.

See you in my next post. Till then, happy reading!

The Wave by Morton Rhue (Review)

Ben Ross, a history teacher in a high school, was tired by sleepy students and sloppy homeworks. So he created new system in his class, called The Wave, which he hoped would improve the students’ discipline as well as help them understand the situation of many German citizens after World War 2, and to address questions like why they went along with Hitler’s plans and did not resist him.

What Ben did not know was that his little movement would spread from his history class to the entire school, turning normal teenagers into chanting, saluting fanatics, with the motto – Strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action!

The other main character in the book is Laurie Saunders, a student from Ben’s history class, who was one of those who felt that The Wave was going too far and it had to be stopped real soon, before it was too late.

I know, I know. It sounds very far-fetched, doesn’t it? But believe me, it is not. It was one of those books which after reading, I was like, “What? It is over already? But I have so many questions!”. What actually shocks me is that this book is based on a true episode which took place in the 1960’s in a Californian high school, though of course, many events in it have been fictionalized. The book hooked me right from the first page, and I finished the entire novel in a day.

I must admit, the movement started by the Ben Ross in the book was pretty impressive. Even the ‘loser’ of the class began actively participating in academics as well as sports. Overall, The Wave made a perfectly disciplined community, but the price was very high. The students lost their individuality, and began to look for a leader, or even a dictator, to always guide them.

So do read this amazing story about something that had begun as a simple history experiment, but turned into a craze that was taking over the students’ lives.

By the way, if you like this book, you should certainly watch a Netflix series titled ‘The Unlisted’. Though on a completely different concept, the series deals with high school students as well, who were being controlled by people with bad intentions.

Let me know your views on the book as well as on the Netflix series by commenting below. Goodbye until my next post, and happy reading!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Review)

Ten people stranded on an island. One murderer. Haunted by a nursery rhyme, one by one, they begin to die.

Agatha Christie, the queen of crime, really outdid herself this time. This is one of those unforgettable titles that stays with you forever, and whenever someone asks you about your favourite book, you find yourself saying that name. Throughout the book, one keeps asking himself, “Could he/she be the one?”. Though suspense is a common factor in all Christie novels, this one was different somehow. You keep ruling out suspects as they die, only to find none left in the end. I actually felt the apprehension and tension that the ten characters felt knowing there was a murderer in their midst, while reading the book, and I am sure you will too. Such is the brilliance of Christie’s writing.

Each character is portrayed as a unique individual, and after completing about half the novel, I felt as if I had known them my entire life. These were ten people from completely different walks of life, and this little group included a doctor, a judge, a governess and others from equally various occupations. The only thing common was that each of them were harboring a dark secret.

If I tell you any more, you will end up knowing the identity of the murderer. So it is better I stop here. Let me know your views on this novel if you have read it, and if you have not, what are you waiting for?

I will see you in my next post. Till then, happy reading!