What if the dirt and grime that appears in our homes was actually put there by goblins?
What if those goblins filled our homes with dirt that could only be removed with one cleaning product – a detergent that was poisonous to the sea?
Twin sisters Georgie and Gem are the only ones who know about black magician Zachary Zigstack’s evil scheme to make his toxic detergent a world bestseller. Luckily the twins have a magical skill – they can leave their bodies and fly around in spirit form – which means they can spy on Zigstack’s goblin accomplices and find a way to stop them.
But can they do it before all the sea creatures are destroyed? The Slapstyx Goblins are dangerous as well as dirty, and have nasty ways of killing people who cross them…
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review of this book by Annabelle Franklin
Even though this book was written for the 8 – 10 year age range of readers, I enjoyed it. The characters were well rounded – both the good and the not-so-good guys, and the trouble the sisters found themselves in was presented with enough humor I couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh or shake the parents silly. None of the characters were predictable until after you had gotten to know them a little bit, which is refreshing with younger books. Each of them had their own unique voice, which made keeping track of who was talking very easy. (Something even older books have trouble with many times.)
The setting was well done. Even the fantastical elements highlighted the realism, rather than detracted from it. I have seen a picture of the house that inspired this story. Even without that picture, I could easily envision the surroundings and where everything was from the quietly written descriptions and the explanations presented in the dialogue. When the story entered purely into the fantasy realms, there was a definite sense of surrealism for the good guys, and a bit of dry humor to keep the darker aspects of the bad guys from being oppressive.
Through out, the dry wit displayed in Annabelle’s writing kept the plot fresh and interesting while the character driven plot twisted and turned through the ride of childhood’s unwanted interest, ability to get into things they shouldn’t, and frightening results. The pace of the story was well done, and had several places that could serve as a stopping point after a bed time read without interfering with the flow of the narrative should someone be reading this straight through.
The tone of the work handled the age appropriate language with grace, and never sounded condescending of a younger audience. Even the not-so-pleasant ingredients that make up some of the dirty problems were not just age appropriate, but done with the typical understated British humor. (Mind you, I’m American, so I may have missed some of the humor or found some that wasn’t intended.)
Over all, this would be one I would recommend to any of my younger nephews or nieces, and would read to a child of my own if I had one. A solid 5 out of 5 stars.
If you enjoyed the review, and wish to pick up a copy to read for yourself (or with your kids), you can head over to Amazon Here.
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Thank you Annabelle for letting me explore your work. This was a very fun read indeed.