Wednesday, January 6, 2016

*Review* Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum by Gregory Funaro

Photo from Goodreads
Genre: Middle Grade/Fantasy
Published: January 5, 2016
Pages: 448
Ages: 8-14
Setting: London, England +


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 on 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.

But that’s not all. Unbeknownst to Grubb and the others, their fate has been written in an ancient Avalonian prophecy—a prophecy that holds the key to a destiny not even Alistair Grim could have possibly imagined.


I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I did not realize this book was the second book in a series when I requested it (or if I did, I didn't care because I was so intrigued by the cover and description that I knew I wanted to read it regardless), but that didn't really matter. While I'm sure reading the books out of order will subject me to some spoilers in Alistair Grim's Auditorium, it wasn't necessary to read it first to ensure that everything in the second book makes sense, at least as much sense as any fantasy novel can make. 

Mr. Funaro weaves a tale of action and adventure that is sure to thrill young readers. It certainly kept my attention, and I'm a wee bit older than the target audience. There were enough descriptions to give readers an idea of what everything might look like, but not so many as to cause young readers to lose interest in the story.

I found myself caught up in the mystery surrounding the identity of Prince Nightshade, and although I figured it out long before the characters did, I didn't feel 100% sure until the actual reveal. I was still elated at being correct though. 

Overall I give Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum 5 out of 5 stars because it kept me engaged and made me feel like part of the adventure. I would definitely give it to my son to read in a couple of years (he's only just starting to read now.) - Katie 

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About the Author

Gregory Funaro grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island, and wrote his first story, "The Ghost in the Window,"in the fourth grade. He considers this to be his finest work, but unfortunately it has been lost to time. Following high school, Greg majored in theatre at the University of New Hampshire and, after various acting gigs, received his AM in theatre arts from Brown University and an MFA in acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. Greg teaches drama at East Carolina University and is busy working on the next book in the Odditorium series.


  1. oh, I can keep this in mind for my kid.

    1. I saw on another review on Amazon (when I went to post mine) that you should read Alistair Grim's Odditorium first because the events in that book somewhat affect the nuance of events in this one. I'm certainly not going to argue with the advice of someone who has read both, so even though I didn't feel at a loss having not read it, it's something to keep in mind. - Katie