Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori


Three stars.

The father of Titus, Pandora, and Damp Strega-Borgia has left home, and when he leaves, everything seems to go downhill. The children chase away nanny after nanny, each of which faces a rather unpleasant end. Finally, the job is given to Flora McLachlan, who is hiding quite a secret of her own.

In a dark, strange, technological world, all is not as it seems. Their seemingly estranged father is in trouble, and e-mails Titus. By an unfortunate mistake, their baby sister Damp is sucked away, and nobody knows where. Together Titus, Pandora, and Flora, along with their butler, Latch, and a giant tarantula named Tarantella must work to find Signor Strego-Borgia and their little sister in order to get their life back to (their version) of normal.

All in all, I found this to be a very strange book. The review quote on the front cover boasts "Harry Potter meets Lemony Snicket in a high-tech setting." (Booklist) So I went into this doubting its plot line, being a huge fan of both Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket's works. But, I have to admit, this book's surreal, sinister, twisted setting indeed put me in mind of the Series of Unfortunate Events. If that series, The Addams Family, and Artemis Fowl were to be blended, this would be it.

That being said, I think it was simply alright, because I believe I'm too old for it. Whereas it's a fast, interesting story, I would recommend it for elementary and middle school students, or anyone who still finds "poo" humor funny. I know I would've loved it, had I read it when I was younger.


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