ARC Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor, Tom Booth (Illustrations)

Genre: Fantasy/Middle Grade

“Because I’m lost,” she says. “And I’d like to be found.”

Malamander. A fantastical sea creature of which legends are made of. It’s…not real, right? No, it can’t possibly be. Just another myth spread around the small town of Eerie-on-Sea. At least that’s what our protagonist Herbie Lemon tries to tell himself as he finds himself entangled with a girl who seems to have a direct connection with the terrifying monster. Herbie is dutifully at work at Grand Nautilus Hotel as a treasured Lost and Founder when he first encounters Violet Parma. And she’s not alone. Violet is being chased by a man with a hook for his hand which of course means no good at all. After helping his newfound friend, Herbie is in for a journey that involves ancient sea legends, mysterious books, and a talking cat. What is the Malamander? And why do so many people seek it and its mysterious egg? Well…

From start to finish this book is everything and more that you need in a Fantasy. I could smell the sea and taste the salt on my lips. It’s atmospheric, descriptive, and so damn good. The sea scares the hell out of me. Giant ANIMALS in the ocean scare the hell out of me and you all know how much I love being scared. I would PAY to live on Eerie-on-Sea.

The characters are well rounded and enjoyable, yes, even the villains who you know are villains from the start. Herbie is quick witted and funny and Violet is brave beyond all belief. The secondary characters??? Fantastic.

  • Somewhat creepy hotel owner who has a mystical ball she spies on people with?
  • Pretty librarian with a maybe talking cat? ✓✓
  • Random lady who roams the shore for treasure? ✓✓✓

Another thing, the diversity was awesome to read. I gasped when I realized Violet was black. This is what our kids need to read, representations of themselves in books and media. It truly does mean a lot and it’s great to see.

This is the first in a series of books that Thomas Taylor is writing and I absolutely can’t wait for the next one. This is a middle grade book but truly is great for all ages.

And now, whenever I go to the beach I’ll have to glare out at the ocean and whisper:


It’s so dramatic, I absolutely love it.

Also just learned that this is being turned into a movie!!! Yay I cant cant wait!!!

Thank you very much to Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

He smells as though something bad is about to happen.

🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊 5/5

Expected publication: September 10th 2019 by Walker Books US 

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10 thoughts on “ARC Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor, Tom Booth (Illustrations)

    1. it was so cute and yes!!! we do! growing up I felt we didn’t really have much and it really bothered me but now there’s soooo much out there and it makes my evil heart fill with joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. YAY I’m so excited to read Malamander! Even though I haven’t read middle grade in a long ass time I bought this a few months ago coz I couldn’t pass up that cover (the first one, not the scary one at the bottom of your review –that eye tho LOL). Plus I’d heard some good things about it. Glad to hear you enjoyed it too 😍 Loved this review, Amanda!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL the cover is so pretty!!! you’ll really really like this. it’s so cool and whimsical. i’m so very happy they’re actually making a movie out of it because the whole time I was reading i was muttering to myself that they better make a goddamn movie.

      thank you love


  2. Just being able to dramatically whisper ‘…Malamander…’ when you’re at the beach makes it worth reading this 😛 Plus, I love reading a book and then seeing the film. If this is PIXAR or Disney, 100% I’m gonna be dragged along to go and see it. I might actually be ahead of the game for once!

    Liked by 1 person

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