The Curse of Eelgrass Bog

The Curse of Eelgrass Bog
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Release Date
January 02, 2024
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Dark secrets and unnatural magic abound when a twelve-year-old girl ventures into a bog full of monsters to break a mysterious curse.

Nothing about Kess Pedrock’s life is normal. Not her home (she lives in her family’s Unnatural History Museum), not her interests (hunting for megafauna fossils and skeletons), and not her best friend (a talking demon’s head in a jar named Shrunken Jim).

But things get even stranger than usual when Kess meets Lilou Starling, the new girl in town. Lilou comes to Kess for help breaking a mysterious curse—and the only clue she has leads straight into the center of Eelgrass Bog.

Everyone knows the bog is full of witches, demons, and possibly worse, but Kess and Lilou are determined not to let that stop them. As they investigate the mystery and uncover long-buried secrets, Kess begins to realize that the curse might hit closer to home than she’d ever expected, and she’ll have to summon all her courage to find a way to break it before it’s too late.

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1 review
A Bog Full of Witches
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Kess Pedrock lives an unusal life in the small town of Wick's End, where she and her brother Oliver are trying to keep their parents' Unnatural History Museum open while their parents are stuck in Antartica doing research. They don't go to school, and money's a bit tight, but Kess is determined to stop the museum from crumbling and bring back business. When Lilou Starling, who is new in town, comes to the museum and asks a lot of questions about the nearby Eelgrass Bog, Kess is glad to have someone to talk to. Lilou's grandfather had lived in the town, and left a cryptic message before he died to beware of witches, break the curse, and save the society, so she enlists Kess' help to solve the mystery. The Bog is dangerous, with watch fires burning outside of it, and horrible megafauna living within it. Kess isn't supposed to venture in, but she and Lilou do. There, they meet the mysterious Ivy Holloway, who seems to know Lilou's grandfather. But that was 70 years ago, and Ivy is a little older than they are, so how can this be possible? There are all manner of strange and wonderful things in the Bog, and once Kess delves into them, she will learn many things that cause her life to make a lot more sense. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I really don't want to say much more and spoil the twists.

Good Points
This used an unusual, serif heavy font, which fit the book well. There are lots of clues about Kess' life that I caught right away, so I wasn't too surprised at the twists, but I've also read a ton of books. I think young readers will be surprised. Oliver is a bit overbearing as an older brother, and it will seem unusual to kids that he is in charge of everything at 15, but again, this makes perfect sense later on. There are lots of creepy details about monsters in the Bog, and this has its scary moments, but is primarily a mystery with a lot of fantasy elements. Kess was an interesting character, and it was good to see her develop a friendship (and maybe something more) with Lilou.

This felt very damp and icky, which my readers will probably like. I had the same problem with Wilson's The Boys of Blur. This is why I don't live near a bog!

This is a good choice for readers who liked the museum in Davies's The International House of Dereliction or Burch's Finch House, or the fantastical setting of Miles' The Fall of the House of Tatterly or Fournet's Brick Dust and Bones.
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