kidlit :: Malamander :: Thomas Taylor

Thomas Taylor’s Malamander is a delightfully creepy book for middle grade readers…
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..

I thought this was such a fun read! It is mysterious and atmospheric from the very first page, and has kind of a gothic feel to it. The setting was amazing – it really felt like a creepy seaside town, and the myth and legend around the town was really cool. I also loved the cast in this one – Herbert and Violet make wonderful heroes, and they come up against some fantastically quirky villains.

I sped through the story because I couldn’t stop wanting to know what happened next. I’m delighted to see there are more books planned because I think we have a lot  more to discover about Herbie, Vi, and Eerie-on-the-Sea.

I think this would be a great for readers about 9 years old and up – while the issues are largely relevant to younger readers (friendship, fitting it etc) it is a little bit scary sometimes – it would also be great to read with younger kids, and would make a fun read-aloud too.
I definitely recommend picking this one up!

xo Bron


Malamander by Thomas Taylor
Out now from Walker Books

Source: Thanks so much to Walker Books for sending a free copy of Malamander for me to review! 

Category: Middle grade mystery
Themes: Friendship, family, identity


  • Diva Booknerd

    Wasn't it absolutely delightful! I'm so into the middle grade reads this year and thrilled that there'll be more series installments coming soon! I received an email from Walker the other day and they've even sold the adaptation rights, this would make an incredible movie. Loved the review Bron, makes me want to reread it again already!

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