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.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Walker Books for an e-ARC in return for my honest opinion.