Book Review: Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum by Gregory Funaro

Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum by Gregory Funari is the second book in the Odditorium series. The first book was Alistair Grim’s Odditorium. I highly recommend reading these books in order. While they each are complete stories in themselves, knowing the relationships and background is very important to fully enjoying the story.

When Grubb, an orphan and runaway chimney sweep, entered the wondrous world of the Odditorium, his life changed forever. Apprenticed to the mechanical marvel's strange proprietor, Alistair Grim, Grubb unfortunately must settle into his new position on the lam, as the whole of London is convinced that Alistair Grim is a villain bent on mass destruction. Grim, however, has come up with a plan to expose the real villain: Prince Nightshade, a wicked necromancer who wants the Odditorium's power source for himself. With the evil prince hot in their trail, Grim, Grubb and the rest of the Odditorium's crew embark on a perilous adventure to find the legendary sword Excalibur: the only weapon capable of penetrating Nightshade's magical suit of armor. As expected, their quest turns out to be anything but ordinary. Not only can the Odditorium fly, but it can also swim! And so the crew battens down the hatches and sets off on an underwater voyage to the otherworldly realm of Avalon, home to Excalibur. Along the way, they must battle a banshee assassin, sea monsters, and a witch who seeks revenge on Alistair Grim for stealing her magical objects.

Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum is a satisfying sequel. I did not find it quite as enthralling as the first book, but there is plenty of character development and action once the book gets going. I liked that there were new characters added to the fray, as well as our favorites from the first installment. There are some unexpected twists and turns, I was actually surprised with one of the major twists and thought the additional characters really added to the depth of the mysteries in the book, as well as the characters. To make the book even more interesting to me there is a trip to Avalon and some significant play with Arthurian legends, which are my favorite. I liked the fresh look at some of my favorite legends, and how much Grubb, Alistair, and the rest all grow as individuals and how the group changes and becomes strong through the challenges they face. I look forward to seeing where the Odditorium takes us all next!

Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum is a little bit slower than the first book to get the the action, but if poured and enjoyed the first book I recommend following it up with this book. However, keep in mind that there are more to come! Sop while this book does have a satisfying conclusion, like the first book did, there are still many questions and problems left to be solved in future books.

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