Series: Odditorium #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 6th 2015
Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.
All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.
There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.
Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.
Grubb was abandoned as a baby on the steps of a kind woman and her husband. Mrs. Spears would often say Grubb was delivered to her by the blue fairy and doted on him. Unfortunately, when she passed away, Mr. Spears was found to be not as nice or doting. He’s used as a chimney sweep and often beaten and rarely given food. When he finds himself in a spot of trouble on one job, he ends up hiding in a carriage which ends up flying him to the infamous Odditorium.
The trouble doesn’t end there, even though they seem to treat him well and are willing to let him stay due to his unfortunate situation. Mrs. Pinch, the housekeeper takes care of him when he first arrives and introduces him to Mr. Grim, who has a niece named Cleona who asks Grubb later if she can play a trick on him, it seems her specialty is pranks.
While there, he finds a talking watch named Mack, who wants nothing more than to get into the study and be with all the other time pieces. What Grubb later finds out is he has animus and Mack ends up in his pocket when Grubb is on the outside, where he gets pickpocketed and then even worse, dogs of doom are released because they sense the animus. What Grubb finds out is that there is an evil Prince Nightshade after the animus, which Mr. Grim has control of.
I must say, I really enjoyed this book. I have a fondness for orphan stories and love the use of magic. The Blue Fairy is possibly my favorite character, she is absolutely hilarious – especially when drunk on chocolate. Yes, drunk on chocolate. It made me laugh hysterically. I love the adventure and fantasy elements. There are quite some twists and turns in the story that I really enjoyed as well.
A fantastic middle grade fantasy that will take readers on a crazy adventure.