There's a storm raging in Eerie-on-Sea. Has the mighty Gargantis come back from the deep...?
When an ancient bottle is found washed up on the beach after a ferocious electrical storm, all the residents of Eerie-on-Sea seem to want it ... but should they in fact fear it? Legend has it that the bottle contains an extraordinary secret that spells doom for the whole of Eerie-on-Sea. Could it be true that the vast sea creature Gargantis has awoken from her slumbers, and is causing the large cracks that are appearing all across the town? Finding themselves entrusted with the bottle, Herbie and Violet discover they will need to ride the terrible storm and pacify the creature if they want to save Eerie-on-Sea from sliding into the ocean and being lost for ever.
Praise for Malamander, book 1 in the series:
Chosen as Waterstones Children's Book of the Month
"…a wonderfully imaginative and atmospheric adventure, rich in myth and legend and with a delicious gothic edge… Taylor is best known as an illustrator – he famously created the original jacket for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – but Malamander confirms him as a ferociously talented writer… this really is one that deserves all the buzz." The Bookseller
"This is fantastical storytelling at it’s best with a Dickensian cast and a terrifying beast from the deep." M.G. Leonard
"Malamander is a masterclass in original story-telling." Catherine Doyle
" I can’t wait to see this south-coast Grand Budapest Hotel meets The Shape of Water (but with a better plot) become a hit." The Times
"This is a sumptuously imagined book, which works a powerful spell." The Telegraph
Building on the enormous success of Malamander, the marketing and PR teams will be placing content across kids' media, with virtual events and working with educational influencers.
Building on the enormous success of Malamander, the marketing and PR teams will be placing content across kids' media, with virtual events and working with educational influencers.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 36 members
Although a standalone novel, if you have read Malamander then you will have a deeper understanding of the main characters and Eerie-on-Sea, that most wonderful of places. Once again, we return to this seaside resort after the success of the first novel and are immediately caught up in the thrills and spills that seem to happen here out of season. As this opens Herbert Lemon is going about his duties in the lost and found office of the Grand Nautilus Hotel. With a raging storm outside, and the appearance of a strange guest who knows his name, so after the person disappears, he finds that he has taken possession of a strange mechanical looking seashell. As his friend Violet Parma arrives on the scene so they have some surprises with this, but there are a lot more to come. With once again the well-drawn characters and location we had with the first novel, you soon find yourself caught up in this tale which is full of action and surprises. With an ancient legend and the area suffering what are called stormquakes due the severity of the weather, so one has to wonder if the whole town will crumble into the sea. What with the discovery of a weird bottle on the beach so things become stranger, but one thing is for sure, if our heroes do not do something, then it looks like the end for all the residents. But what is the Gargantis of the title, is it just a name for such a large storm, or is there something else to it? With an old rhyme, ancient runic seeming writing and other elements, so Thomas Taylor has once again crafted a tale that not only younger ones, but also adults will enjoy as this is sheer fun escapism. One thing is for sure, if you visit Eerie-on-Sea you never know what to expect, you just have to go with the flow and hope that at least Herbie can help put things right. A thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC for reviewing purposes.
How wonderful it was to be back in Eerie-on-Sea & from the very first chapter we're plunged into the action as we discover the town is in trouble. The story is fast-paced, the writing is just as atmospheric as in Malamander & the town has lost none of its quirky charm. Eerie's myths and legends are woven into this exciting plot to create a gripping story that captures the imagination and graphs your attention so fully you won't be able to put the book down.
Lovely to be back in the familiar town of Eerie-on-sea with another intriguing mystery. Herbert Lemon and Violet Parma team up again after they’re presented with a mysterious clockwork shell. Similar to the first book, I raced through this because I was desperate for more, more, more. The author does not dumb down his writing for children which is a blessing to see. The plot was thrilling and I was desperate to solve the mystery alongside the fabulous central pairing. The twists and turns drove me on and on, and I fully loved the story just like the first novel! Gargantis was full of intelligent references and it was a delight to have the opportunity to read this wonderful book. Herbert and Violet are again fully realised daring and brave characters who I hope to find out more about, and I particularly loved the sprightning – I felt very attached, just as Herbert did.
Welcome back to Eerie on Sea....a seaside town steeped in myths and legends. From the impressive Malamander to mysterious Gargantis. Many townsfolk just know these as myths, legends and stories told by generations of fishermen over pints in the pub. However, as Herbie Lemon and Violet Parma know from experience, myths and legends are based on truth and are dangerous. A terrible storm has been raging over Eerie for days, shaking the very foundations of the town. Many are quoting a past legend of “Gargantis sleeps, Eerie keeps, Gargantis wakes, Eerie quakes...and all falls into the sea.” Believing it to just be the name of a Storm, Herbie and Violet carry on discussing the latest lost and found mystery, A hooded figure dropped off a mysterious shell with a clockwork mechanism, a shell that promptly ran away from the duo. When another item is given to Herbie it is with much interest from those in the town. This glass bottle that seems alive and to shimmer with light, has caused Herbie to be in the centre of danger. He is being threatened and unbeknownst to him, there is a very good reason as to why. Following impulsive Violet’s suggestion, they pair manage to open the bottle, and they are surprised to see a light, almost fairy like come from within. It soon attaches itself to Herbie and stays with him, living under his hat. Eavesdropping on some unsavoury conversations, Violet and Herbie realise that the hooded figure is behind all the danger over the glass bottle. He is urging the fishermen to sacrifice him in order to capture Gargantis. Understanding that this is no mythical name for a storm but a true creature shocks Herbie. An incredible sea faring adventure follows, and for Herbie who firmly decided never to go on a boat or in the water, this is a tough choice. With clever Violet and her love of books and legends by his side, they soon figure out the danger the town is in. Eerie will literally crumble into the sea if Gargantis is captured and killed. Fighting fishermen, the hooded figure, the Vortis and Gargantis take its toll on everyone, but what they find under the Vortis is amazing. Can Herbie become the hero again? Who is the hooded figure and why does he have a tentacle coming out of his neck? Do we know this figure? I think it was invigorating to be back in Eerie on Sea, thrilling and adventurous. Herbie is given another clue to his mysterious past and I can’t help but hope we can piece together more for Herbie in future books in the series. Thomas Taylor has a true knack for bringing myths alive and I am already anticipating the brilliance of more to come.
OH YES! I absolutely LOVED this book! I thought the first in the series, Malamander, was pretty damn good, but for me I thought this was so much better! I feel like the first book introduces a lot of the setting and characters, whereas as this is the second in a series, the storyline takes centre stage. It grabs you from the first chapter, and simply doesn't let go, pulling you headlong through the exciting and intriguing plot, with the use of short but perfectly formed chapters aiding the breathless dash. I simply loved this book (can you tell?!) and simply cannot wait for the next one!
This is the second book in the Malamander series and I think I may have enjoyed it even more than book one. When Herbie and Violet get caught up in an argument of ownershop for an ancient bottle it leads them to an adventure far more dangerous than they ever thought. But is everything as it seems? It's up to the both to get to the bottom of it all before Eerie-on-Sea pays the ultimate price. Herbie is such an amazing character, I find him completely endearing and get very protective when anybody picks on him. I worried for him a lot in this book and my heart broke for him when more about his past was revealed. Violet is a good contrast to him being more bold and loud than he is, though sometimes this is a front she puts on. The adventure and mystery aspect of this book was super enjoyable and I really liked the way things were revealed. I highly recommend this book to adults and kids alike. A fun, engrossing story with wonderful illustrations throughout.
Anyone who knows me, or has read some of my ramblings on Twitter, will know that the book preceding this one, Malamander, was a book I absolutely adored. One I had to fight to read to my class and the only one, having won that fight, that has ever received a spontaneous round of applause from its audience. Having hooked my class into the world created therein, I have more recently turned my attention to promoting Gargantis to them. As a teacher, I want my charges to read for pleasure, and was convinced that this read would provide more of the engagement that I saw with Malamander. Was I right? Oh yes! The story kicks off in the now familiar setting of The Grand Nautilus Hotel in the seaside town of Eerie-on-Sea. It is here that a mysterious stranger arrives in the middle of a terrific storm before inexplicably disappearing, leaving a shell which is not what it appears to be in the care of our hero: Herbie - the Lost and Founder in charge of the hotel's lost property. The storm is soon revealed to be the Gargantis of the title by Herbie's good friend Violet, who has been reading up on local folklore, telling him that when ‘Gargantis wakes, Eerie Quakes.' And indeed, Eerie-on-Sea has been quaking, with the local fishermen unable to put to sea and the town being shaken by powerful 'stormquakes'. This discussion is swiftly followed by the arrival of two familiar characters arguing over who should take ownership of a frosted sea-glass bottle shaped like a fish, which has been found by the local beachcomber. The bottle adds another layer of mystery to the unfolding tale, as it appears to be something with a mind of its own. As the individual in charge of all things lost or found, it falls to Herbie to assume responsibility for it and decide who its rightful owner is. Of course this then leads to a series of events culminating in the book's very exciting conclusion (no spoilers!) which leave the reader desperately wanting Book 3, the first draft of which Thomas Taylor has recently finished. And that wanting more is a huge part of the writer's skill in crafting this story. From the very beginning of this read, I found myself struggling to put it back down - in common with Malamander, the chapters are short and end on cliffhangers so that you think, ‘just one more chapter', only it never is just one. This makes both books perfect for more reluctant readers and those, like myself, who would happily spend all day reading. It is easy to dismiss children's fiction as being 'only' for children, but in my experience as a parent and as a teacher, many children are quite discerning and in current times (as a country, we are currently coming to the end of week three of social isolation) I would like to think more adults are sharing books with their children. Here, there are plenty of parts within the text to appeal directly to adult readers, such as the references to popular culture, a couple of which made me laugh out loud and one (think The Adventure of the Dancing Men from the Sherlock Holmes stories) which had me completely baffled. In common with Holmes and Watson, Herbie and Violet are both well-drawn, believable characters - he with his nervous disposition and squeaking, and she with her more self-assured manner and way of getting her own way. Together, they make a great partnership. I often tell my class that I much prefer books and radio to TV and films, 'as the pictures are better', and as I read I could very clearly 'see' what was going on as they both played their parts in the narrative. Fans of the original book will be pleased to hear that many characters and settings are back: Seagoll's Diner, The Book Dispensary and Erwin the cat to name just three. Additionally, as in Malamander, each chapter's heding is accompanied by an illustration from the author, who has also included wonderful hand-drawn maps to complement the text. However, you do not need to have read Malamander to enjoy Gargantis. It works well as a stand-alone story and is one I am really hoping to be able to share with my class, several of whom I know have already preordered this. Will I be recommending it? Does the question really need to be asked? I am very fortunate to have read this ahead of publication on May 7th (27 days to go, as I write) courtesy of Net Galley, but am very much looking forward to receiving my paperback in the post. This will be a very welcome addition to my little library; one which I am sure will be hard to keep on the shelf.
Get ready to join Herbie Lemon and Violet Parma in this second visit to Eerie-on-Sea. With a violent storm ravaging the seaside town, can our young heroes save the day and solve the latest mystery to land on the desk of The Lost and Foundery? This action packed page turner is guaranteed to have you gripped from cover to cover. We’re cleverly reintroduced to friends from book 1 and encounter new characters, both friends and, of course, deadly enemies as the mystery unravels. I thoroughly enjoyed the fast paced action, the thrill and chill of adventure, and the daring courage of Herbie and Violet. Gargantis is guaranteed to enchant readers and leave them bursting with anticipation for the next visit to Eerie-on-Sea.
Malamander was one of my favourite books of last year, and arguably one of my favourite middle grade books of all time! So, Walker announcing that they've joined NetGalley and seeing this was one of their first titles on there had me pressing that request button so very quickly! Gargantis sees us return to Eerie-on-Sea with Herbert Lemon and Violet Parma and you'd think that there are only so many mysteries and adventures to be had in such a small seaside town, but nope! There is another legendary monster to be discovered and with a whole host of characters and twists and turns, Gargantis will have you on the edge of your seat! Thomas Taylor's writing is just wonderful and it really draws you in; Herbie as a narrator is loveable and there's so much character to him. I love how it just flows along and you get totally swept up in the story, just like with Malamander! I am so excited to hear that there is a book three coming...the only downside is having to wait! I'd highly recommend Gargantis (if you haven't read Malamander yet, go and read that too!). It's just one of those books that's guaranteed to make you want to read; it's a definite page-turner! Last of all, I apologise for this review being short and sweet; no words can do justice to this series! It's just one of those that I implore you to read if you love a good children's adventure/mystery, and I have no doubt that you'll love it too!
Since reading Malamander by Thomas Taylor, I have been waiting to return to Eerie-on-Sea with great anticipation. It’s sequel, Gargantis, did not disappoint. In fact, it is even better than the original with more monsters, strange happenings and heart-stopping moments! From the very first moment, readers are pulled into the magical, other-worldly town of Eerie-on-Sea. Pop culture references and engaging characters make readers feel strangely at home in this place of unusual inhabitants and deadly winter storms. The map inside the front cover outlines all of the familiar locations from Malamander including the Eerie Book Dispensary, Seegol’s Diner, Mrs Fossil’s Flotsamporium of treasures found on the beach and Dr Thalassi’s Museum of Eerie. As the story begins, we find ourselves in the most important place of all – the hotel that puts the strange in stranger – the Grand Nautilus Hotel where our hero, Lost and Founder Herbie Lemon, is working in his ‘glittering cavern of curiosities’. This is just the beginning of a tale of curiosity, caverns and things that glitter. Herbie has no idea what awaits him! Accompanied by his faithful friend, Violet Parma, Herbie Lemon goes headfirst into the monstrous storm, Gargantis, to solve the mystery of the hooded man, an unusual clockwork shell, St Dismal, a magical sprightning and a deadly whirlpool. This story is full of ancient folklore. Legends and traditional rhymes seem to come life and it takes every ounce of bravery Herbie and Violet have to find the truth. As long as they follow the rules of all the Lost and Founders who have come before, they might be alright! By the end of the story, readers will find themselves desperate for the third instalment of these unique characters and this most unusual town. What are the secrets of Eerie-on-Sea? What makes it so eerie? Where does the magic come from? What is it that ties everything together? The answers are there somewhere and someone knows the truth but we’re going to have to wait for the next adventure to find out more! In the meantime, I’m hoping my cat will start to speak to me with the wisdom of my favourite Eerie character, Erwin the cat, and we find a magical book dispensary that prescribes the books we need. I can’t imagine anything better. Thank you to Walker Books and Net Galley for this fantastic book which will be published in May 2020!
Love being back in Eerie-on-Sea. Another mystery for our favourite characters to solve. Great to wrap up and read this latest instalment.
I was delighted to take a trip back to Eerie-on-Sea and find out what adventures Herbie Lemon and Violet Parma would get up to next, and I was not disappointed! Herbie Lemon is the Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus hotel. He is in charge of looking after lost items until their owner comes back for them and his best friend is Violet Parma: a slightly wild, headstrong girl. There have been ferocious storms in Eerie-on-Sea recently, lasting for days with rumblings of the legend of Gargantis, but some say it is just a local word for ‘storm’. One night, a mysterious stranger that Herbie dubs ‘Deep Hood’ on account of his rather large hood arrives at the hotel and drops off an odd-looking shell with Herbie. Not long after, Mrs Fossil find a fish-shaped glass bottle whilst beachcombing that appears to have a light inside it. This leads to many of the residents of Eerie-on-Sea trying to lay claim to it from Mrs Fossil herself, to Dr Thalassi (curator of the museum) to the fishermen. To prevent any disagreements, Lady Kraken (owner of the hotel) decides that Herbie Lemon - in his role as Lost-and-Founder - should be the one who decides who gets to keep the bottle. Between the strange shell and the glass bottle, it is not long before Herbie and Violet realise that they have stumbled across something out of the ordinary and find themselves embarking, once again, on a fast-paced, maritime adventure. The first-person narrative really draws you into the action and there is certainly plenty of that! I love the relationship between Herbie and Violet; they balance each other out as Herbie sometimes needs a push in the right direction and Violet (often!) needs reigning in. And they have two of the wittiest character names ever! This book is perfect for readers who love mysteries, adventures and legends. Can’t wait for the next one!
There's a storm raging in Eerie-on-Sea. Has the mighty Gargantis come back from the deep...? Gargantis, the second book in the series, has everything for young readers to enjoy. Ancient spells, mysterious visitors, cryptic clues, quirky characters, fierce storms, myths and legends. Herbie and Violet are perfect protagonists.I look forward to book 3.
I’ve been eagerly anticipating my return to Eerie-On-Sea for a while now after enjoying the brilliant Malamander. And wow, was it worth the wait! Gargantis really is the most exhilarating return: adventure, mystery, danger and twists galore, deliciously wrapped up in another of the fascinating legends surrounding Eerie-On-Sea. I could not put this down, and savoured it throughout one day – a sumptuous feast of a story! Eerie-On-Sea is beset by terrible storms that are getting more and more severe, causing such devastating damage to the town that it is in danger of being lost to the ocean. Could these storms have anything to do with the legendary sea creature, the Gargantis and, if so, what could have woken this mighty being from sleep? When Mrs Fossil, the town’s rather eccentric beachcomber, finds an ancient fish-shaped bottle washed up on the beach, many residents rush to claim it. However, the Grand Nautilus Hotel’s formidable owner, Lady Kraken entrusts her resident Lost-and-Founder, the young Herbert Lemon, with making sure that the bottle gets returned to its rightful owner. After all, that is what he is best at doing, but has she placed him in grave danger as he is thrown rather reluctantly into another adventure? Herbie and his best friend, Violet Parma, soon find themselves on the most incredible, action-packed adventure as they strive to find the rightful owner of the bottle’s astonishing secret, and uncover the truth behind the legend of the Gargantis. The children must outwit and outrun a sinister hooded man, whose motives may not be what they seem. They soon find themselves at the mercy of an angry storm, and a determined enemy, as Herbie fights to overcome his natural fear of the ocean to save the town from destruction. Luckily, he has help from the very mysterious and wonderful cat, Erwin; the Mermonkey at The Book Dispensary which gives him what he needs even if he doesn’t want it; and, the young teenager Blaze Westerley who is also searching for answers aboard his Uncle’s ingenious boat, The Jornty Spark. I loved the relationship between Herbie and Violet who are firm and supportive friends leading to some great moments of humour and a natural camaraderie. Herbie is more cautious and reluctant to break his Lost-and-Founder Rules, whereas Violet has a more impulsive, curious nature which sometimes gets them in trouble. They are both incredibly likeable, courageous and quick-thinking, overcoming fears to be there for each other, regardless of the risk. I also loved how they both put their faith in Blaze’s engineering abilities, thereby helping him to believe in himself. Gargantis will take the reader on a thrilling, edge-of-the-seat adventure to discover the truth of an intriguing ancient legend … a superb mystery that kept me on tenterhooks throughout, trying to second guess the ever-twisting plot, which was just as electric as the storm. I cannot recommend this highly enough, and can’t wait for the next legend of Eerie-On-Sea to unfold.
Gargantis is the second book set in Eerie-on-Sea. Narrated by the lost and founder Herbert Lemon (Herbie), this book follows him and his friends as he looks to uncover the mystery of the fish-shaped bottle that has been found. The Grand Nautilus Hotel is now one of your usual hotels. Taylor has the wit of David Walliams and uses a vast array of creative language throughout the story that adds to the adventures the Herbie goes on. As an adult the hotel strikes me as a bit of a cross between Faulty Towers and the Furchester Hotel. This is a place where anything can happen. As the second book in the series, it would be helpful to have read Malamander first, however it isn't necessary for the enjoyment and understanding of this book. Taylor does a good job of describing his characters and their backstory throughout the novel that previous knowledge of Eerie-on-Sea isn't essential. Filled with witty prose and lots of dialogue, and if you haven't read Malamander it will have you looking to pick that up too.