“The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding” by: Alexandra Bracken

This was an odd one for me.

I limit myself to one middle grade, art, or children’s book a month. This was my pick for June.

The writing style was well crafted and humorous at times. I can’t do direct quotes as it was a review copy, but the analogies and word plays were fun.

The story was about this boy, Prosper, and how his family made past choices that led to things happening for him at the time of the book.

I loved the supernatural elements, witches and demons etc., but I felt the book meandered about a lot. I did like how the different voices were handled during the possession. (Which sounds so much darker than it was written to feel. Alexandra Bracken did an excellent job of using dark themes in a light-hearted way.) I also enjoyed her chapter titles and the references she made to well-known “witchy” elements.

Without spoilers, my biggest issue here was what the hell was that ending? The ending felt abrupt/rushed. I literally got to 96% of the way done and thought, “How the heck is this going to wrap up from here?!”

Again without quoting, there was a phrase that was used a few times which made me wonder if this book was supposed to itself BE the Prologue. The start? The “this actually takes place before the events of the second book that will be released?” I don’t know if Ms. Bracken plans on writing a sequel and so that’s why she set everything up this way or not. I am unfamiliar with her writing style as this was my first read by her. I did like her writing, just the ending left me highly bewildered.

I can’t think of anyone I know personally that I would get this for. I would say I recommend it for fans of paranormal type of stories that aren’t super dark. I don’t even know if that makes sense. It wasn’t campy or anything. It wasn’t something I really imagine a lot of middle graders being drawn to either overall. So, again, I say this was an odd one for me because I don’t know how I feel about it beyond confused. Was the demon supposed to have gotten his wish and taken over? If so, what happens then? I sincerely feel like this is going to expand out to a series to answer a lot of build up that wasn’t explained out.

Quick Facts:

Page Count: 368

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade, Supernatural

Expected Publication Date: September 5, 2017

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