Alistair Grim's Odditorium (Odditorium #)

 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
1211 0
Alistair Grim's Odditorium (Odditorium #)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
8+
Release Date
January 06, 2015
ISBN
978-1484700068
Buy This Book
      
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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Banshees and Sirens and Evil Fairies!
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Grubb was abandoned as a baby at the house of the Smears. Mrs. Smear is fairly nice, but she passes away when Grubb is six, and Mr. Smears keeps the boy only because he can be useful in his chimney sweeping business. When cleaning chimneys at the local pub, Grubb manages to cause quite a commotion, and ends up stowing away in a carriage, since he knows he can never go back to Mr. Smears. When the carriage flies, however, he doesn't know quite what to make of it! He is discovered by the kindly Nigel, who tells him that he is now in the Odditorium. This is a collection of odd individuals in an even odder building, and Grubb is warned not to notice too much. Mrs. Pinch, the housekeeper, gets him cleaned up, and he hears Cleona talking to her uncle, Mr. Grim. Grubb also ends up in possession of a talking watch, Mack, that glows blue with "animus", and that's the start of a cataclysm of trouble. When Grubb is out and about with Mack in his pocket, his pocket is picked and the dogs of doom are unleashed. Nigel says that things will probably be okay, but when the two return, they are given handbills to pass out that announce the opening of the Odditorium. Mr. Dreary is pressuring Mr. Grim to open even though he is not ready, and the results are catastrophic. The dogs of doom alert their master, Prince Nightshade, and soon the shadesmen attack the Odditorium, trying to retrieve the animus for their dark master. Mr. Grim sets the Odditorium flying, and soon Grubb is catapulted into a world of banshees, sirens, shinobi warriors and other creatures, few of which have his best interest at heart!
Good Points
Grubb's start as an overworked orphan in Victorian England is a good way to start this book; Mrs. Pinch and Mr. Grim seem kindly by comparison, and no matter how hard he is asked to work, the jobs are much easier than sweeping chimneys. The Odditorium is a big mystery to the people in London, since it has been shrouded during its construction, but the fascination with oddities and supernatural elements was significant during this time period, so is a perfect fit.

The characters are well-developed and rather fun. I had hoped for a bigger role for Mrs. Pinch, whose habit of losing her spectacles and her exasperated utterance of "Blind me!" made me think that she was more powerful than she seemed. I just wish she had been used more. Nigel has a fascinating backstory which also rings true for the times, and even though I was a little disappointed that Cleona wasn't more of a friend for Grubb, there was a compelling reason for this!

Akin to Stroud's Lockwood and Co., Haberdasher's Knightley Academy or the New-York Circulating Material Repository in Shulman's The Grimm Legacy, the Odditorium is a fascinating venue of magic and mayhem in which readers will gladly lose themselves.

Since fantasy is not my favorite thing, and I find that lists of characters add a daunting quality to a book (thank goodness the list was at the end, not at the beginning with a map-- that usually causes me to run screaming!), I would have preferred that characters such as Mrs. Pinch and Nigel would have had more roles, and fewer characters would have been introduced once the Odditorium took off flying. Also, I'm never fond of main characters suffering from wounds and/or passing out (as in Nielsen's The False Prince and sequels), and Grubb manages to pass out at least three times. Still, I'll definitely be looking forward to the next book!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When the earth was new, words had the power to...
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Elephant is always ready and willing to share her prized...
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dictionary as narrator? YES! ...
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Morrigan battles a new evil as a strange, frightening illness...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An atlas of the most extreme meteorological and geological disasters...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Gut Garden: A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome! Within...
ICK! Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Animals--they're cute and fluffy, cuddly and puffy, and ... sometimes...
Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct: Real Facts About Real Dinosaurs
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author-illustrator Drew Sheneman brings budding paleontologists the truth about...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New...
Soulswift
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A dark, epic fantasy about a girl who must rethink...
Goblin King
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Beautiful Wild
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
You are invited to set sail on the maiden voyage...
Kingdom of the Wicked
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling...

Latest Member Reviews

The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
"THE WALRUS AND THE CARIBOU is a delightful picture book that captures Indigenous folklore about the creation of animals. Guk..."
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
"THE ELEPHANT'S UMBRELLA is a picture book with great illustrations and a moral of kindness. The elephant has a special..."
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
"CALVIN GETS THE LAST WORD is a cute picture book told from the perspective of Calvin's beloved dictionary. He is..."
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
"HOLLOWPOX is an engaging middle grade fantasy that takes the reader on a magical journey to the Wundrous Society. Morrigan..."
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
"HOW TO CATCH A YETI is a delightful picture book about a group of children who, as the title implies,..."
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
"ALONG CAME A FOX is the story of Bramble, who is excited to find some fireflies. Her friends tell her..."
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
"ROSA'S BIG PIZZA EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book about the process to make a pizza, beginning with the flour,..."
Rosa's Big Sunflower Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
4.0
"ROSA'S BIG SUNFLOWER EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book that brings science and plant facts to young children. Rosa and..."
That Dog!
 
4.5
"THAT DOG! is a silly fun picture book about animal similarities and light crime solving. Penny is a dognapper, and..."
I'm a Zcary Vampire
 
3.5
"I'M A ZCARY VAMPIRE is an overall cute picture book read that is great for the lead up to Halloween...."
Heroes Level Up (Homerooms & Hall Passes #2)
 
5.0
"Albiorix and his crew are having a great time being back in Bríandalör, successfully completing a lot of quests, but..."
Last: The Story of a White Rhino
 
4.5
"LAST: THE STORY OF A WHITE RHINO tells the story of the real rhino, Sudan, who is one of the..."