Friday 21 February 2020

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 21st February 2020: "The Monster in the Lake" by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu (Nosy Crow)

Oh yes, we are very much "down" for this takeover of middle grade by awesome fantasy and science fiction. In fact genre stuff feels like it's finally finding a home amongst readers who are fast becoming disillusioned by reading stories about yet another posho who, along with their cute toy poodle, fancies themselves as a detective.

So thank you once again to Nosy Crow for signing up genius author Louie Stowell and teaming her with Davide Ortu for the follow-up to one of our fave middle grade romps of last year, "The Dragon in the Library".

In "The Monster in the Lake" we're once again in the delightful company of Kit - a would-be wizard who seems to have a slightly disastrous touch when it comes to performing simple magic. Spells go horribly wrong, things are never quite what they seem - and to add to Kit's life hassles there's a boomin' great big lake monster to content with this time around.

Kit, Josh, Alita and Faith (the mysterious yet magical librarian) are back for this new adventure, helping Kit to figure out what's behind several bizarre outbreaks of magic in her local snoozy town - and perhaps once again save the world in the process. But what is that strange "thing" lurking in the lake? And who exactly is behind this weird shift in the magical world?

Louie expertly delves into her deep knowledge and love of sci fi and fantasy, with a ton of nods and references in this story that just had us hooting and cheering like cheesy nerdy fanboys / girls (which, we are, of course!) Kit's the sort of character we always love to see in books anyway, but here she begins to establish herself as that rare gem - a character that kids will begin to love enough to dress as on world book day. I'm kidding, but Kit is inspirational, full of curiosity, a tinge of self doubt but a ton of ability too - and dang, we want that in our books in spades.

Congrats Louie and Davide, this is another corker!

Sum this book up in a sentence: A darkly tinged, often extremely funny but reverent homage to all things gloriously B-Movie-esque with the sort of main character we just can't get enough of, and a supporting cast that make scooby and his gang look like cardboard cutouts. Awesomeness!

"The Monster in the Lake" by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu is out now, published by Nosy Crow (Kindly supplied for review).