REVIEW: Malamander by Thomas Taylor

by |April 24, 2019

This is just the kind of fun-filled adventure I’ve been craving lately!

Thomas Taylor really delivered with his new book Malamander – this is a rich, creative, and engaging story that was really, really hard to put down.

The story follows Herbert Lemon, a young boy who is the Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel. Herbie is used to returning lost things to their rightful owners – shoes, suitcases, money – but one night a strange young girl turns up at his window claiming she is lost… and needs to be found!

“But the adventure is that way. Not back in the hotel!”

Violet Parma was left at the hotel as a baby twelve years prior. She is adamant that she is lost (that her parents did NOT abandon her) and she enlists Herbie’s lost-and-found ‘detective’ skills to reunite her with her parents. 


I think my favourite character in this story is the town itself – Eerie-on-Sea. I really want to go there! This is a strange little town which, during the warm seasons, is frequented by tourists due to the sun-filled days one can have on the beach. But things certainly change when the temperature cools and the mist rolls in. Eerie-on-Sea becomes a haunted, dark, wet, and scary place to live – plagued by skin-crawling legends about sea-monsters.

“Violet, in this fog, anything could be standing ten paces away right now, and we wouldn’t know.”

Herbie and Violet set out with a simple mission: to solve the mystery of Mr and Mrs Parma. Of course, it’s never as simple as that! Their mission is hijacked by Sebastian Eels, a man determined to hunt down the Malamander, Eerie-on-Sea’s legendary sea-monster. Violet and Herbie don’t believe in the legend (most people don’t) until they discover that Violet’s parents went missing while searching for the Malamander. 

I can’t tell you how much I loved this story. Herbie is an utter delight – he is sassy, brave, and had me chuckling on more than one occasion. Violet is bold, adventurous and optimistic. They make a great pair! Not to mention the rest of the animated cast – Captain K, Erwin, and Mr Mollusc. 

This book had definite Lemony Snicket vibes, with its chilling setting and endearing parent-less protagonists. I am itching for this book to get out in the world as I am absolutely positive it is going to be a massive hit with children and adults alike!

Malamanderby Thomas Taylor


by Thomas Taylor

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…

Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander...

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About the Contributor

Before entering the exciting world of books, Bronwyn served in the Royal Australian Air Force, travelled extensively and worked (still does!) as a barista on the weekends. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn's debut fantasy novel Relic is coming out in 2019 with indie publishing house Talem Press. They are to publish her entire trilogy called The Relic Trilogy. In her spare time, Bronwyn writes, reads and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for Peter Pan (J.M Barrie), Outlander (Diana Gabaldon), Stardust (Neil Gaiman), The Illuminae Files (Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman) and Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.

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