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Odditorium #2

Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum

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When Grubb, an orphan and runaway chimney sweep, entered the wondrous world of the Odditorium, his life changed forever. Apprenticed to the mechanical marvel’s strange proprietor, Alistair Grim, Grubb unfortunately must settle into his new position on the lam, as the whole of London is convinced that Alistair Grim is a villain bent on mass destruction. Grim, however, has come up with a plan to expose the real villain: Prince Nightshade, a wicked necromancer who wants the Odditorium’s power source for himself.

With the evil prince hot on their trail, Grim, Grubb and the rest of the Odditorium's crew embark on a perilous adventure to find the legendary sword Excalibur: the only weapon capable of penetrating Nightshade's magical suit of armor. As expected, their quest turns out to be anything but ordinary. Not only can the Odditorium fly, but it can also swim! And so the crew battens down the hatches and sets off on an underwater voyage to the otherworldly realm of Avalon, home to Excalibur. Along the way, they must battle a banshee assassin, sea monsters, and a witch who seeks revenge on Alistair Grim for stealing her magical objects.

But that’s not all. Unbeknownst to Grubb and the others, their fate has been written in an ancient Avalonian prophecy—a prophecy that holds the key to a destiny not even Alistair Grim could have possibly imagined.

448 pages, Hardcover

First published January 5, 2016

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About the author

Gregory Funaro

8 books403 followers
Gregory Funaro is the NY Times best selling author of Disney-Hyperion's ALISTAIR GRIM'S ODDITORIUM (an Amazon Best Book of the Month for January, 2015) and ALISTAIR GRIM'S ODD AQUATICUM (2016), which received a Kirkus starred review. WATCH HOLLOW (HarperCollins, 2019) received starred reviews from School Library Journal and ALA Booklist, and was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. The exciting sequel, WATCH HOLLOW: THE ALCHEMIST'S SHADOW, was published in February of 2020. Gregory is a retired drama professor and now lives with his family in Rhode Island, where he is busy working on his next novel. Please visit his official web site at www.gregoryfunaro.com.

Twitter: @GregoryFunaro
Instagram: Gregory.Funaro

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 100 reviews
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,905 followers
December 22, 2015
This book picks up where the first one left off. If you have not read the first book in the series you are still okay with this one though, the author does a really good job of catching the reader up in a way that does not feel "info dumpy."

Alistair Grim and his crew are bent on taking down Prince Nightshade. Aboard the Odditorium the plan is starting to take shape. The Odditorium is the flying magical place created by Grim.
Palm Springs commercial photography

This is a series I normally wouldn't be interested in. Steampunky stuff is usually over my head so I never pick it up. I'm glad I gave these a try though because they ended up being very entertaining.

Yellow fairies:
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Enchanted objects:
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Clumsy magic watches:
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And the best..a witch:
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I love when an author makes a reader branch out into something they normally wouldn't pick up.

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for review. The author is also a nice guy that sent me a signed copy of the book also.

Palm Springs commercial photography

My friend Darth J's review perfectly captures the magic of this book's spell.
Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,252 followers
April 16, 2015
Please note that my review is based off of an uncorrected advance proof that I received in exchange for an honest review, so the version I read may be different than the finalized one. And it was autographed:

Before I go into my thoughts, I wanted to describe something. You know the sensation you got as a kid around Halloween and Christmas; that certain warmth and familiarity that felt electric, like magic was in the air? Well, that’s how I would define a “Classic Disney” feeling. And this book has it.

This sequel to the whimsically gothic Alistair Grim's Odditorium is just as creative and enjoyable as the first. A new character by the name of Mad Malmuirie is introduced. She’s a classical broom-riding witch who can hurl lightning bolts.

The Odditorium travels underwater towards Avalon to retrieve Excalibur in order to defeat Prince Nightshade but finds the entrance to the mystical land guarded by a leviathan.

And there is this lovely quote near the end of the book which is sure to put a smile on any bibliophile’s face:
“It’s the magic in his books what keeps the library warm.”

Full of excitement and adventure, this is a magical and intelligent book in a series meant for anyone who wants to relive those Classic Disney feels in an original story.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
February 2, 2016
Review first posted on www.FantasyLiterature.com:

The strange adventures of Grubb, a young boy and former chimney sweep swept away to hair-raising magical escapades in Gregory Funaro’s Alistair Grim's Odditorium, continue in Alistair Grim’s Odd Aquaticum, the second volume in the Odditorium series set in Victorian-era England. Grubb is starting to feel at home in the Odditorium, a magically mechanical ― or perhaps mechanically magical ― flying mansion of wonders built by Alistair Grim, an inventor and sorcerer. Magical energies in this universe are color-based, a detail that is likely to enchant young readers. They include yellow fairy dust from Gwendolyn the Yellow Fairy, which enables the Odditorium to fly; a red energy that powers its weapon systems; and a blue energy provided by an attractive and mischievous banshee, Cleona, which animates the machinery and other objects in the Odditorium. Unfortunately, these magical powers can be used for evil as well as good (the combination of red and blue energy into purple is particularly alarming), and the malevolent Prince Nightshade is using them to gain power for his own purposes, and is trying to steal the Odditorium’s sources of power to strengthen his hand.

Having narrowly escaped Prince Nightshade and his army of goblins, trolls and other dark creatures in the first volume, Grubb, along with Grim and their friends in the Odditorium, is anxious to defeat Nightshade once and for all. Alistair Grim’s plan to do just that leads the motley crew on a journey to strange new places as they seek the legendary sword Excalibur to help them battle the dark Prince with his invincible armor. On this journey they run afoul of many adversaries: demons, a handcuff-bearing male banshee determined to bring Cleona to trial before the banshee council for her supposed crimes, a crazed redheaded witch called Mad Malmuirie bent on kidnapping Grubb, an old rival of Alistair Grim with unique knowledge of the hidden way to Avalon, home to Excalibur. But some of these foes may turn out to be helpful to their quest, if they can only figure out whom to trust!

There’s a brief info dump at the beginning of Alistair Grim’s Odd Aquaticum, where Grubb recaps his story from the first volume and brings readers up to date. While this may be enough to somewhat orient new readers, I advise against skipping the first book, which introduces the reader to this world with its characters and their motivations and quirks. For example, banshees have a deep loyalty to those they adopt as family, and their wails warn their loved ones of courses of action that would lead to their deaths. And apparently yellow fairies have a weakness for chocolate.
“I think we should protect ourselves with our own fairy just in case.” He flicked on the talkback. “Gwendolyn, are you there?”

“What is it, Pookie?” the Yellow Fairy replied, and she let out a long coo. Clearly, the chocolate had done its work.
Originally I assumed that “Aquaticum” was a new name for the Odditorium itself, given in recognition of its newfound ability to travel underwater. Not so ― it is the underwater part of their journey, as the search for Excalibur and a way to defeat Prince Nightshade leads Grubb and his friends to watery realms where immense sea monsters hold sway.

Like Alistair Grim’s Odditorium, Alistair Grim’s Odd Aquaticum is an exciting magical adventure geared toward middle grade readers, but the story has enough interesting twists and humor to appeal to older readers who enjoy youthful fantasy adventures. This second adventure is even more compelling, particularly in the last half of the book, and the storyline is more coherent. I reached that magical place where I was not just reading, but was transported into the book, joining Grubb and his friends on their quest and journeying to marvelous new places.

I received a free copy from the author for review, signed to my son (not the cat) and me.
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,766 reviews590 followers
December 25, 2015
Imagine yourself as a child, filled with the awe of fantastical machines, thrilling adventures and going where no one has gone before. What a delight it would be to LIVE these adventures, exploring the seas as one searches for a priceless treasure and fights of an evil being. Now, think how much your child would enjoy falling into another world where crazy inventions and and quirky characters reside. How could you NOT give them the joy of reading Gregory Funaro's Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum?

Follow young Grubb as he becomes part of the quest for Excalibur, the sword of the legendary King Arthur. To find the sword, they must travel to Avalon, but is this journey part of prophecies?Will the evil Prince Nightshade thwart their attempt? The race is on, as Grubb and Alistair Grim take on a journey that could end the battle between good and evil.

Gregory Funaro brings out the child in every reader who picks this series up,no matter what age one is. Geared to younger readers, there is magic in Mr. Funaro's words. he builds a fantasy world to believe in, to feel and to not want to leave. This is the kind of reading that makes young readers readers for life!

Publisher: Disney Hyperion (January 5, 2016)
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Genre: Children's Steampunk Fantasy
Print Length: 448 pages
Available from: AmazonBarnes & Noble
For Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Benjamin Thomas.
1,953 reviews272 followers
April 20, 2015
This was a real corker!

The first book in the “Odditorium“ series (Alistair Grim's Odditorium) was an incredibly fun book of magical adventure featuring a young orphan boy named Grubb and his experiences after meeting Mr. Alistair Grimm (inventor, fortune hunter, and some say mad sorcerer) and his amazing Odditorium. This second book picks up about one month after the extraordinary events of the first, and is, if possible, filled with even more of everything that made the first one so great. I do highly recommed reading the first book before this one however. Even though there is a nicely done summary embedded in the narrative of this one most of the characters and events carry on from the first book. Besides, why wouldn't you want to read the first one first?

I won’t provide a plot summary because it would start with revealing a major spoiler for those who have not read the first book. I will summarize by stating, as the title implies, we get to ride along with the crew of the Odditorium and its crew underwater this time in an effort to enter the gates of Avalon itself in order to acquire the fabled sword, Excalibur. Most of the characters from book one are back and a couple of new ones are added. All are interesting and Grubb’s first person point-of-view narration has an endearing way of making the reader care about all of them and how they are possibly going to get out of the myriad of predicaments that they get themselves into.

This is a book geared for younger readers and I am happy to see once again that the good guy characters solve their problems with intelligence, forethought, and courage rather than relying on some sort of magical trickery. The bad guys aren’t pushovers either and always seem to have another trick up their sleeves. The action is fast paced and kept me turning the pages to see what happened next. Part steampunk, part The Phantom Tollbooth and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, it’s always fun to experience a read like this where the odd is commonplace and the impossible is possible.

I am hopeful the author will devote every waking moment to writing the third book of what I hope will be a long and successful series. Thanks to him for providing a free copy in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cameron Chaney.
Author 6 books1,839 followers
June 26, 2016
Blind me! What a great addition to the series!

Alistair Grim’s Odd Aquaticum is the second book in this New York Times bestselling middle grade series. I was spellbound by the first book, so I was excited when the author and Disney Hyperion sent me the sequel for review. And a signed copy, no less!

Aquaticum picks up where the first book left off, chronicling the events of the Odditorium and its crew as they travel a treacherous underwater world to take down the evil Prince Nightshade. It has all the same characters that I grew to love in the first novel, and even adds a few new ones that are every bit as readable. We also get a lot of new mythologies with this addition to the series, including King Arthur lore and witches. We even get mechanical sharks and a good ol’ trip to the Hellmouth.

Even better, there’s no sophomore slump here! Aquaticum forms a bridge to the next book, but it is a nice sturdy bridge with plenty of ghoulies and eight-legged beasties underneath. There’s nothing to be bored with here, as is often the case with the second books of series. It made me excited to see where things will go in the third book, while providing a perfectly satisfactory story within itself. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Kirsten Barber.
69 reviews46 followers
April 26, 2015
I am reviewing this book in exchange for an uncorrected, unfinalized advanced reading copy provided (AND SIGNED!!!) by the author. Final illustrations were not seen.

Signed ARC Odd Aquaticum

In Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum, Grubb and the rest of the crew set off on another adventure together, this time on a quest to retrieve the legendary sword Excalibur and perhaps defeat the evil Prince Nightshade once and for all. To find the magical weapon, the crew must take the Odditorium underwater on its first ever "Aquaticum" (Grim's fancy name for "a sea, lake, or river voyage in search of Odditoria") to fabled land of Avalon, encountering even more Odditoria, banshees, witches, sea monsters, fairies, prophecies, and of course, trouble along the way. Can Grubb and his friends find the one weapon that might allow them to vanquish the evil man who wants to use the Odditorium and its magic for nefarious purposes? Will prophecies spell success or despair and destruction for the crew? And how do Grubb and his mysterious family fit into all of this?

And the question you surely want answered most of all - can the second book possibly be anywhere as good as the first? I'll go ahead and give you that spoiler - yes, it most definitely is.

Just as with first Odditorium novel, Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum provides readers with fantasy, adventure, and pure magic. Funaro once again creates a lovely steampunk world filled with such amazing detail that you will never want to leave. While I didn't get to see many of the finished illustrations, what was in my ARC promises to equal or even surpass their predecessors. I can't wait to pick up the final version next January so I can see them completed.

As with the first book, some parts of the plot were more predictable for me as an adult reading a book geared toward the middle grades. Still, a few things came as a shock, though I won't give any details away. For upper elementary and middle school students, this installment will keep them on their toes till the very end. Seriously, this book made me want to quit my job and everything else going on in my life so I could finish it and find out what happened. The story was fast-paced and each chapter had a cliffhanger ending that kept me reading onward.

I felt like Odd Aquaticum gave me more closure than the first book, but based on its ending, there will definitely be a third book. (Yay!!!!!!!!!) Now I just have to resign myself to waiting until it comes out (or hopefully getting my hands on another early release?!?) to find out what's next for Grubb and his friends.

Ages 8-14
Profile Image for Jessica.
371 reviews35 followers
November 20, 2015
This was a blast. My son and I hated to see this book end.

This is steampunk for middle grade readers, but older individuals who are still a kid at heart will love this. The cast of unusual character's are amazing. This is a Disnay novel, and it really felt like it. As a kid I loved Disney. This would have been a childhood favorite of mine. The adventure was amazing, the characters are so unique, and I loved the pacing of the story. There were no slow, long winded parts of this story.

It is really a shame that the publication date is set for January 2016. I would have loved to buy this, and the first book in this series, as Christmas gifts.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Patty.
1,601 reviews86 followers
August 15, 2015
Ailstair Grim's Odd Aquaticum
Gregory Funaro

The main and most important characters in this book...

Oh my...I loved all the characters in this book...Mrs. Penelope Pinch...the witch who makes purple stew...and Nigel...sad Nigel...and McClintock the watch...and Moral The Goose and...Gwendolyn The Yellow Fairy, Kiyoko...fierce Samurai warrior...Professor Bricklewick and Lord Dreary and Cleona The Banshee and of course Alistair and Grub...like the worm with one b...and so many more. Essentially these are the characters who were in the first book...including the dastardly Prince Nightshade. The good guys are on a quest to stop Prince Nightshade but this quest is an under water quest...thus the Odditorium becomes an Aquaticum.

My very brief story summary that includes bits and bobs from the beginning, middle and end of this book...

So...Grub is learning how to be his father's son and learn how to play the organ that drives the Odditorium/Aquaticum. There seems to be danger at every turn...that's why this book is so much fun...in order to stop Prince Nightshade...they need to find Excalibur...but this sword is under water. This brings on a slew of challenges.

My actual most favorite part of this book...

I love Grub...he is such a sweet character. His life as a chimney cleaner was so sad and now...in spite of all of his dangerous adventures with his father Alistair...his life is so entertaining and exciting! I especially loved when Alistair kissed Grub...on the forehead...a sweet father /son gesture. I kind of loved Lorcan Dalach, too!

There is danger and fun and excitement in this book...that's what I love about it...just when you think you can relax...something happens! Giant eels, doom dogs, witches! Prince Nightshade...pure evil...oh my!

My actual true feelings about this book and whether or not other potential readers will enjoy it...

I am simply biased about these books...in a good way...I loved the first one and this one is just as much fun. I think young readers will truly love this second installment. I suggest readers read the first one, too...it just makes more sense and it gives the reader a true feel for these characters and their situations.

Profile Image for Brenda.
1,516 reviews66 followers
November 28, 2015
As is normal, I have not read the first book in this series; I just jumped feet first into the story and gave myself the first couple chapters to get acquainted with everyone since I'm the late arrival in this crew.

Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum is like this: Alistair is Grubb's father, and Grubb's mother died almost immediately after Grubb was born. Alistair collects odd things with magical powers, and is a sorcerer with quite a formidable family to help him: a banshee, a fairy, a cook, a business partner, an academic, a talking pocketwatch....

Meanwhile, Alistair is after this sinister opponent, one Prince Nightshade. He's a baddie if I've ever heard of one--I don't really know what he did in the first book, but what I saw him do in this one made him pretty bad.

Grubb is a fun street urchin. He's got the bad grammar and the weird kind-of-cuss-words. He is resourceful and brave in all the best ways. He legitimately cares for everyone in the family, and makes an effort to show that affection whenever necessary. It was sweet.

But, as always, what got me the most was the mythology and the monsters. Sea serpents! Banshees! Excalibur, and the story of Arthur and Merlin! How can you not like this stuff?! Especially if it actually holds true to the original myth (or one of them at least). It was cleverly done and fun the whole way through.

Plus, there were some good twists that came in the later chapters. The revealed enough in the book to make it worthwhile, and it had a fight scene that was perfectly choreographed.

I sort of thought that with all of the different elements at play it would be a little convoluted and difficult to keep track of it, but I really had nothing to worry about. It was perfectly action-packed and had just the right amount of everything.
Profile Image for Britt.
318 reviews81 followers
December 28, 2015
I have decided that this is my new fav middle grade series! Look for my review on Jan 2 @ PleaseFeedTheBookworm.com
Profile Image for Cathi.
272 reviews
November 12, 2018
My granddaughter gave me this book not knowing it was the second in a series. I quickly got the first and will start that momentarily. Then I'll give them both back to her so she can enjoy them and, hopefully, all the others in the series. Because this book is for kids it isn't complicated. They get into trouble, they get out of trouble. No extra words. It is quite long and there are some words an 11 year old may not understand but the pictures help. I recommend this book to children with a 5th to 8th grade reading level.
Profile Image for Terminally.
63 reviews17 followers
October 15, 2020
A Copy of this Novel was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The blurb, as always: "When Grubb, an orphan and runaway chimney sweep, entered the wondrous world of the Odditorium, his life changed forever. Apprenticed to the mechanical marvel’s strange proprietor, Alistair Grim, Grubb unfortunately must settle into his new position on the lam, as the whole of London is convinced that Alistair Grim is a villain bent on mass destruction. Grim, however, has come up with a plan to expose the real villain: Prince Nightshade, a wicked necromancer who wants the Odditorium’s power source for himself.

With the evil prince hot on their trail, Grim, Grubb and the rest of the Odditorium's crew embark on a perilous adventure to find the legendary sword Excalibur: the only weapon capable of penetrating Nightshade's magical suit of armor. As expected, their quest turns out to be anything but ordinary. Not only can the Odditorium fly, but it can also swim! And so the crew battens down the hatches and sets off on an underwater voyage to the otherworldly realm of Avalon, home to Excalibur. Along the way, they must battle a banshee assassin, sea monsters, and a witch who seeks revenge on Alistair Grim for stealing her magical objects.

But that’s not all. Unbeknownst to Grubb and the others, their fate has been written in an ancient Avalonian prophecy—a prophecy that holds the key to a destiny not even Alistair Grim could have possibly imagined."

So before I really get into anything here, be aware of this: This is a sequel. To a book I personally have not read. And unfortunately, this book reads as a sequel.  Go read the first one if you are even remotely interested.

Because honestly, here is very little time spent on character development or interpersonal relationships, because its obviously been built up in the previous book.  Everything in this book was setup in the first.  EVERYTHING.

My biggest issue here was the fact that I was unaware it was a sequel. The blurb kinda hints at it, but doesn't really make it clear. However, within a few pages it becomes very clear very quickly that things occurred in a book prior to this, major things, and these things are never really explained or gone over in any detail for those of us who are coming in mid-series.

Now, I don't mind this generally. Plenty of book do this, but the issue here is that there are also a ton of books and even long running series that do not do this, and are actually able to be read in really any order, as each book is a self contained story.

The Dresden Files are a good example of this.

But my personal favorite example is The Elenium Series, by David Eddings.

I actually received the 3rd book of that series as a gift when I was a kid and did not know it was book 3. I read it, loved it, found it there were 2 other books, and went and read them in order.

And I missed NOTHING.

Every major event from the first two was referenced perfectly in book 3.

Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum really does not do that. The author clearly assumes you have read the first book and just goes forward with the plot.

And truthfully, the plot is not that great if you have no vested interest in the characters. And if you have not read the first book, you won't have that connection. And thus everything falls apart. Which is exactly what happened to me.

On a technical level, the writing is good. But I found myself rather bored with the whole thing. I didn't click with any characters, and really did not see any reason to care. Nothing was bad, but nothing was really fascinating.

I am curious as to why the author felt he had to make up a word to replace Artifacts. Cause these folk refer to Artifacts...as Odditoria. And going on an Aquaticum refers the an underwater adventure.

Because WHIMSY!

I give this a 3/5. I would suggest checking out the first book before even touching this one, otherwise you will miss a whole lot.

And truthfully I most likely won't bother with the first one simply because this one failed to interest me on its own.
Profile Image for Dawn.
630 reviews11 followers
December 14, 2018
I actually liked this one more than the first one. Why aren't there any more?!
Profile Image for Aparajitabasu.
666 reviews75 followers
February 25, 2016
Original Link to the review at my blog Le' Grande Codex - here


Of Magic, mysteries and your classic broom riding - lightning throwing witches. Of ancient lores and odder still the adventures to be had. Presenting the highly awaited sequel to the whimsically magical Odditorium series by Gregory Funaro, Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum. Mr. Grim, his newly discovered son Grubb (spelled like the worm with a double 'b') and all of their magical and non-magical cohorts have escaped the adventures of the first book and are very much eager for the next step.

So you know, the odditorium can fly can also disappear but did you knowm it can also swim! Yes you heard right, prepare to be amazed for their next set of palns to defeat the evil Prince Nightshade, they must journey to Avalon, the home of Excalibur. Along the way in this Odd Aquaticum, they must battle assassin banshees, wrestle with sea monsters, outwit mad witched, battle mechanical sharks and appease a tempramental goose. Just your everyday dealings at the Odditorium. With gorgeously illustrations and Funaro's words, magic is there within its pages. No matter how dire it gets, there is still always fun to be had and a solution to be infered.

But in the thicket of it all, grubb finally has found his family and learning loads under the tutelage of his father. Of course, secrets rear their heads but there are truths in them too. Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum was as mavelous as Alistair Grim's Odditorium was and I am very excited to know what happens next. There is magic within its pages, the awe of a new world and the sure chances of adventure .... I recommend this for all ages .... If you haven't picked it up then do so immediately.

"Mind blowing, rip-roaring adventure"
Profile Image for Amanda.
404 reviews24 followers
November 30, 2015
On the fence

I came into this book half blind, having not read the first book in the series. I think it would be really helpful to have that story under my belt, even though a summary to "catch readers up" is included in the book.

The beginning and end of the book were weak. They just didn't really flow with the way the rest of the book was told. Lots of "oops, getting ahead of myself" to try and "hook" the reader, which made me roll my eyes and didn't particularly pique my curiosity.

I found it odd that the lines between who and what were bad weren't usual. Witches were good and bad (instead of your traditional bad), but demons are bad, banshees are neutral or seem to have a choice, fairies were good and bad (instead of the bad fairies being elves). Sorcery could be used for good or bad, depending on who wielded it and for what purpose. Obviously, whether or not any of that concerns you depends on your worldview.

My main draw for reading this book was the connection to Arthur. I've read a lot about the legends and what people believe is true or false. I've also read numerous books that have "links" or "retellings" of the Arthurian story. This book is in the "links" category, and, surprisingly, was pretty decent in what it told about the legends and how it went about doing that. Given a couple comments, I wonder if Avalon will be mentioned in later books in this series.

Maybe because I'm an adult, or maybe because I came in without reading the first book, but a "twist" or two in the plot didn't surprise me.

Overall, the book didn't wow me, especially with not being surprised with the "curveballs" and the weak beginning and end to the work. Will I read the next in the series? I'm honestly not sure. It was interesting enough for me the finish the work, but I'm definitely not dying to know what happens next.

I was given a complimentary ecopy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Sarah.
26 reviews10 followers
November 28, 2015
I received this e-Arc from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Gregory Funaro's mythological steampunk romp continues in Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum. While the book contains a summary of the previous title, Alistair Grim's Odditorium, I would recommend reading the first book to fully enjoy the story and grasp all the references.

Alistair Grim and the Odditorium crew are on the run following an epic battle with evil Prince Nightshade. In order to stop the Prince once and for all, the crew takes an underwater voyage in order to locate the fabled sword, Excalibur, from Arthurian legend. Throughout the voyage, Grubb Grim adjusts to life with his father, Alistair. Whether it's through father-son bonding time, or learning to control the Odditorium with its pipe organ, a variety of experiences deepen the relationship between the two.

Book two did not disappoint. It contained the same enchanting blend of magic, mythology and technology and character relationships that made the first Odditorium book so great. Secrets were revealed at appropriate intervals and the bad guys were no pushovers, leading to epic, satisfying battles.

I can't wait for the next installment in the series. I'm totally hooked!
Profile Image for Elevetha .
1,769 reviews168 followers
December 22, 2015
**An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Definitely far and away the earliest ARC I've received to date. *rubs hands together gleefully*

As this book is less than a month away from publication at this point, an actual review is gonna have to wait for all eternity. Suffice it to say that this was a fun installment in this series, nearly as much so as the first one. Possibly more, because Lorcan. Not only does it have underwater adventures, and a Madame Mim-esque witch, Lady(ies) of the Lake, stained glass prophecies, and the continued presence of a Scottish clock, but invisible flying fairies, organ playing, accidental murders, totally-not-accidental murders, and the identity reveal of Prince Nightshade.

I thought it could have been moved along a bit quicker, but also I read this over the span of three months, so who am I to complain about moving slow? But the very fact that it took me three months might speak to that it wasn't the most attention-grabbing book to be had. However, I did enjoy it, and I'll be back for Book 3.
Profile Image for Emily Andrus.
274 reviews39 followers
December 11, 2015
4.5 stars, really.

Was I super excited to get my hands on this sequel? Oh yeah. Was it worth it? Definitely. This story was just as action-packed and exciting as the first with some extra intrigue thrown in. A lot of the storyline motifs echo the first book—such as love being the best magic, what family means, etc.—but there's a new Arthurian spin. The hunt for Excalibur and the surrounding lore give the tale some nice depth. The only (small) complaint I had was that the story almost had two climaxes, so that I felt like I was on a bit of a roller coaster. Kids, I'm sure, will love it, though. It's just that much more exciting!

The characters are, again, fantastic. Grim could be a tad annoying because he has a habit of not sharing his plans. Good thing Grubb is just so trusting and loving (he's such a great kid!). And the way Grubb narrates the tale provides just enough humor and enticement. Both are still troubled by their pasts and new intrigue provides some more depth to these characters. New characters add some charm, too. Love it.

So if you loved the first, you're going to love this one. Be excited. If you haven't touched the series—I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Annette.
900 reviews14 followers
February 2, 2016
ALISTAIR GRIM’S ODD AQUATICUM by Gregory Funaro is the second book in this quirky fantasy series for children.

Ruthless villain Prince Nightshade wants to steal the power of the Odditorium. Young Grubb, his newly found father Alistair Grim, and a crew of eccentric characters set out on an underwater quest to find the legendary sword Excalibur and save the Odditorium. They must survive a witch, sea monsters, an assassin, and other magical adversaries to reach their destiny.

Weaving together elements of steampunk, fairy stories, witches, and magic, this series has broad appeal. The combination of whimsical settings, legendary characters, and action-packed adventure will have youth coming back for more.

Librarians will find that fans of the first book will enjoy this new addition to the series. Because both the first and second books have been well-received, interest in the series is growing.

To learn more about the author, go to http://www.gregoryfunaro.com/.

Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 5, 2016. ARC courtesy of the publisher.
105 reviews2 followers
March 24, 2020
The Odditorium series is imagination at its finest. While most of the story revolves around Grubb and his father, Alistair Grim, the other characters have so much depth they could stand in for the main characters in a pinch. Poor Nigel who was tricked into death, the unfolding relationships between Mrs. Pinch and Lord Dreary as well as Kiyoko and Professor Bricklewick (all these names are great), Mack, who may be the best character in the book, and the sweet and sour of Cleona and Gwendolyn are wonderfully worked into the story naturally and with finesse. The villain and his powerful side-kick offer a true fear of what they will do next. The bits and bobbles of Odditoria are wondrous and I would love to hear more about his other acquisitions. There are still so many outstanding questions and I am greatly looking forward to the third book in the series. One last point, the artwork throughout the book adds so much to the story telling. They are just small glimpses into a scene but the artist really brings the situation to life.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
899 reviews20 followers
November 20, 2015
I'd like to start by saying that I did not read the first book. This book included enough details that I didn't feel as if I missed anything important; however, I really feel as if I would have enjoyed reading that one too.

The author has filled with this book with interesting characters including some that I remember from books about King Arthur and Excalibur. The plot Kept me turining pages and hoping that Grubb and his father complete their mission and save the day.

This is one of those books that are rated for children in grades 3 to 6. I'm here to let teens and grown-ups in on a little secret: I have found so many books that were rated for the younger set, that I have thoroughly enjoyed. And this is one of them.

I highly recommend this book. Thank you Netgalley for the advance copy that I had the opportunity to read.
Profile Image for Laura.
3,713 reviews95 followers
January 1, 2016
The Odd Aquaticum is just another version of the Odditorium, and this story is simply too much like the first book to really excite me (granted, I'm not the target audience!). What would have moved this from "average sequel" to "interesting entry in the series" would have been more about the Odditoria in the story - more than what there is, because there is some there - as they're far more intriguing characters than Alistair and Grubb. When the focus is on Cleora or The Golden Fairy there's something a little special there, but the whole Grimm/Prince Nightshade story just doesn't move me.

ARC provided by publisher.
Profile Image for Leah.
1,832 reviews
June 1, 2016
This was a cute story. I liked this book better than the first one, and I'm looking forward to the next book. I liked the Arthurian elements in this book. That was my favorite thing about this book. There were a few surprises, but one of them I should have seen coming. I hope the mystery of Grubb's mom is sorted out before the end of the series. Also, the ending was so cute.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,359 reviews
November 11, 2015
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I had a hard time writing this review bc I had a hard time finishing the book. It wasn't awful; I just couldn't get into it. If you loved book one you will probably love book two. It just wasn't for me. There was too much going on, too many other stories in one. I never go for that.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Curington.
204 reviews23 followers
January 11, 2016
*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I found much to like in this quirky blend of fantasy and steampunk. It felt like one of my kid's favorite animated movies. For that reason, I'm rating this book higher than my personal enjoyment. I can see my 9 year old soon enjoying a book like this that almost defies categorization.
Profile Image for Michelle.
191 reviews
July 17, 2020
Loved this one even more than the first. It was fun and whimsical with magic and stempunk-style technology. We got to know the characters more and go on a great adventure. It definitely ended with a setup for another book, but it seems he never wrote another, which is a bummer. I'd really like to know the mystery of his mother.
Profile Image for Katie Bodden.
205 reviews29 followers
July 18, 2016
For a Disney series, it's rather well done. The characters are so off the wall and different that you never really know them. I love that.

This story was much more interesting from the first book. Much more things happened and you meet really fantastic people.
Profile Image for Arlene Arredondo.
556 reviews8 followers
January 12, 2016
Great children’s book, full of action and adventure. Would definitely recommend it. The plot is very interesting and gripping.
Note: I received a digital copy free from Netgalley for review purposes.
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