As Halloween approaches, I've found myself in the strange position of wanting to get into the spirit. I don't know if it just because I have so many creepy/Halloween-y books to read this year or what. Luckily, this book was the perfect storm of fun middle-grade, a spooky story, and magic, all in a book I devoured in about 3 hours.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, just in time for Halloween! Today, it is The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken.

This book follows the main character, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, or Prosper, for short. In the whole history of his outlandish family, Prosper is the only one who is seemingly unexceptional. But, on the night of the Founder's Day Festival in his town, he and his twin sister, Prudence, are ambushed and Prosper finds out he has a demon inside him. Apparently, Prosper's great-great-great-whatever grandfather, Honor, who founded the town had some less than honourable dealings and made a deal with the demon. The demon was betrayed over 4 centuries ago and has come back to destroy the family that betrayed him.

I'll be honest, I was a little wary of this book. While I think Bracken is a phenomenal writer, I wasn't sure a middle-grade novel was something I was that interested in reading. But, because of what the story sounded like it was going to be and because it was Bracken, I took a chance. And I am so glad that I did! It was one of those MGs where you don't really realize it isn't YA, aside from the markable lack of F-bombs being dropped and the lack of a romantic element to the plot (although, now that I know the ending, do I smell one brewing in the sequel, perhaps?) I typically shy away from MG, but I think this book is one that readers of all ages will enjoy.

This book is perfect for this time of year because of it's time setting and the general atmosphere it creates. The chapters are quick and the writing is clear and succinct. Despite being close to 400 pages, I found I was able to finish it in less than 3 hours, which is really fast for me.

I thought the ending of the book was really well done. Not only does it wrap up a lot of questions I had thus far in the book, but it also sets things up nicely for book two. There were 2 major twists, neither of which I saw coming. Perhaps if I had sat and thought about the ending a little bit more, I could have figured it out, but I was just along for the shocking ride.

Overall, I wouldn't say it was my favourite of Bracken's repertoire, but I found it enjoyable and am looking forward to book two.