Staff Picks Book Review - Through the Camera Luna: Cryptozoology and Conspiracies in Thomas Taylor’s Malamander

Friday, April 7, 2023

Malamander by Thomas Taylor “In the winter, people only stay here if they have a good reason. Or a bad one. These are the kind of people who look at their reflections in the lobby mirrors just to see if they are being followed. Or ask to be seated where they can see but not be seen. These are people with secrets to keep or secrets to uncover.”

Malamander by Thomas Taylor is an atmospheric mystery set in the seaside town of Eerie-on-Sea. This salty tale features a quirky cast of characters who quickly become entangled in the lore of a legendary sea monster and its wish-granting egg. As the resident Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, Herbie Lemon is in charge of reuniting lost items with their owners. It’s a lot of responsibility for a 12-year-old, but the job isn’t without its perks. It affords Herbie a modest bed in the storage room—plus he gets to keep anything left in the hotel longer than 100 years. Life at the Grand Nautilus is smooth sailing. That is, until the night Violet Parma shows up looking for a place to hide from a frightening character known only as the Boat Hook Man. It’s a cold winter in Eerie-on-Sea and you may just want to cozy up with a plate of Mr. Seegol’s famous fish n’ chips while these young heroes defend their local cryptid against an intricate conspiracy to steal its magic egg.

If you enjoy adventurous tales with supernatural elements, check out Gargantis, the next book in the Legends of Eerie-on-Sea series or one of these thrilling titles.

Shark Summer by Ira Marcks

When a Hollywood film crew arrives on Martha's Vineyard with a mechanical shark and a youth film contest boasting a huge cash prize, disgraced pitcher, thirteen-year-old Gayle "Blue Streak" Briar sees a chance to turn a bad season into the best summer ever. After recruiting aspiring cinematographer Elijah Jones and moody director Maddie Grey, Gayle sets out to uncover the truth of the island's own sea monster and win the prize money. But these unlikely friends are about to discover what happens when you turn your camera toward the bad things lurking below the surface.

The Polar Bear Explorers' Club by Alex Bell

Stella Starflake Pearl knows, without a doubt, that she was born to be an adventurer. It's too bad girls are forbidden from becoming explorers. But Stella's father has never been one to play by the rules. Leaving behind her pet polar bear, Gruff, and beloved unicorn, Magic, Stella and Felix set off on an expedition to the snowy Icelands. There, Stella plans to prove herself as a junior explorer, worthy of membership in the Polar Bear Explorers' Club. So, when Stella and three other junior explorers are separated from the rest of their expedition, she has the perfect opportunity. Can they explore the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale?

Another Kind by Trevor Bream

For fans of Marvel's Runaways and The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag. Another Kind is not your average monster story. Tucked away in a government facility nicknamed the Playroom, six not-quite-human kids learn to control their strange and unpredictable abilities. Life is good -- or safe, at least -- hidden from the prying eyes of a judgmental world. That is, until a security breach forces them out of their home and into the path of the Collector, a mysterious being with leech-like powers. Can the group band together to thwart the Collector's devious plan, or will they wind up the newest addition to his collection?

The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

A cursed child destined to die on her eleventh birthday is rescued and whisked away to a secret realm called Nevermoor and given the chance to compete for a place in a prestigious organization called the Wundrous Society.

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing

After moving to Echo City, Charles finds himself at the mercy of the town's monsters, but lucky for him there is Margo Maloo, monster mediator.

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