Friday 26 January 2018

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 26th January 2018 - "The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Uncanny Express" by Kara LaReau and Jen Hill (Amulet)

Our Chapter Book of the Week this week is the sizzlingly brilliant follow-up to one of our favourite middle grade books of last year. Back with the Bland Sisters!
There are some books that you just KNOW you're going to love from the moment you set eyes on them. The first time we encountered "The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters - The Jolly Regina" we fell head over heels in love with it. Beautifully written with a sharp and quite dark humour all of its own, with superb illustrations, we kept hanging on in there hoping for a sequel.

Kara LaReau and Jen Hill have teamed up once again to bring more hapless adventures for Jaundice and Kale, this time aboard "The Uncanny Express".

Back from their adventure on the high seas, Jaundice and Kale  are settling back into a quiet life in Dullsville, just the way they like it. 

The tea is tepid, the oatmeal is tasteless, and the socks are ripe for darning . . . until Aunt Shallot shows up and reveals herself to be anything but the dull relation they were expecting. 

Instead, she tells her nieces she is Magique, Queen of Magic, and she’s on her way to a big show and in need of two willing assistants. 

As Magique and the Bland sisters board the Uncanny Express, they meet a cast of mystifying characters. And when Magique goes missing, it’s up to Jaundice and Kale to rescue the magician―with the help of famous detective Hugo Fromage.

We loved the way the first book riffed on all those classic pirate tropes. This time Kara expertly turns her attention on detective noir type stuff, with more than a nod or two to the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, with a smidgeon of Alfred Hitchcock and John Buchan thrown in for good measure. 

Fans of books like "A Series of Unfortunate Events" are going to love the humour in this, delivered in that utterly evocative deadpan way that Kara has mastered so well. With a kooky cast of characters supporting the sisters, this is once again an utter winner of a book. 

Will there be a third? We await with baited breath!

"The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Uncanny Express" by Kara LaReau and Jen Hill is out now, published by Amulet (kindly supplied for review).