Malamander and Gargantis by Thomas Taylor (Walker Books, 2019-21). Cover art by George Ermos
Sometimes it seems all my best book purchases are impulse buys. Last summer, while browsing the shelves at Barnes in Noble, I came across Malamander, the opening novel in a new middle-grade fantasy series by Thomas Taylor titled Legends of Eerie-on-sea. I was sold less than halfway though the book description on the back.
Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep…
It’s winter in the town of Eerie-on-Sea, where the mist is thick and the salt spray is rattling the windows of the Grand Nautilus Hotel. Inside, young Herbert Lemon, Lost and Founder for the hotel, has an unexpected visitor. It seems that Violet Parma, a fearless girl around his age, lost her parents at the hotel when she was a baby, and she’s sure that the nervous Herbert is the only person who can help her find them. The trouble is, Violet is being pursued at that moment by a strange hook-handed man. And the town legend of the Malamander — a part-fish, part-human monster whose egg is said to make dreams come true — is rearing its scaly head. As various townspeople, some good-hearted, some nefarious, reveal themselves to be monster hunters on the sly, can Herbert and Violet elude them and discover what happened to Violet’s kin? This lighthearted, fantastical mystery, featuring black-and-white spot illustrations, kicks off a trilogy of fantasies set in the seaside town.
The sequel, Gargantis, was published in hardcover last year, and will be released in paperback in April. Here’s the complete details.
Malamander (290 pages, $7.99 paperback/$0.99 digital, May 2, 2019) — cover by George Ermos, illustrations by Tom Booth
Gargantis (352 pages, $7.99 paperback/$16.99 digital, April 6, 2021) — cover by George Ermos, illustrations by Tom Booth
The series in published by Walker Books in the US. See all our coverage New Releases here.