*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to NetGalley and Monster Books. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: A gothic adventure for 8 -12 year olds, full of jokes, magical familiars and a gruesome cast of characters. When Septimus inherits a magical, treasure-finding Hairy Hand from his uncle, life suddenly becomes a lot more exciting – and dangerous!
Septimus feels out-of-place in his village where everyone else his age is called Darg or Smerg or Blaarg. Good, honest names that sound like you are have just swallowed something pointy or are sneezing into custard. Even his parents make him feel like a complete stranger. Especially his parents. Then he inherits something strange and frightening from his uncle. A Hairy Hand. It has the magical ability to find buried treasure which suits his parents (thieves by trade) down to the ground. However, instead of making his life better, it suddenly gets a lot more dangerous.
So, it is up to Sept to find out what else the Hand knows and put things right.
I absolutely loved this book and will be treating Minishine to a copy when she’s a few years older!
Sept, our main character, is a good-hearted boy living a lonely life in an excessively cruel and mean-spirited village/family. Until the day he finds out that there really is a reason why he is different from those around him… special even. And he also meets a very unusual friend.
This is a traditional middle-grade fantasy adventure, with the Chosen One discovering his gifts and starting out on a path to set wrongs right. It stands out due to the humour and the neat touches of characterisation which really have you rooting for Sept and Hand, and loathing almost everyone else (think The Twits or other Roald Dahl-esque romps). I particularly liked, even as I didn’t always understand, Sept’s iron-willed loyalty to family and to what he perceives as the right moral path, no matter what it costs him in terms of his own happiness. He really is a great role model for positive thinking and finding the best in people!
The plot was quirky and fun, and often surprised me (in a good way) with the direction it took, especially at the climax. I really hope the author has a whole series planned for Sept because I would love to know what happens next!
If you are aged 8-adult and like Harry Potter with a touch more humour, or Roald Dahl with slightly less chaos, then this is the perfect book for you!
The main problem with Nowhere was that nothing nice ever happened. People in it just went on being selfish and stupid, day after day, after day…
He searched out his reflection in a dirty shop window. A small boy, with fair hair and narrow features gazed back unhappily. Who was he and why didn’t he fit in?
– Robin Bennett, The Hairy Hand
The Hairy Hand is available on Amazon right now!