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America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
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Careless Whiskers by Miranda James
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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher
The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia
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Restaurant to Another World Volume 1 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami
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Some Enchanted Éclair by Bailey Cates and Amy Rubinate
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Tempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper
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Valley of the Lost by Vicki Delany

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Gargantis: 09/26/20


Gargantis by Thomas Taylor is the sequel to Malamander (2019). In this one, the map is expanded to show more of the coastline, a glimpse of the sea. There's an endless storm overhead that is threatening to wash Eerie-on-Sea into the ocean.

The adventure begins with the delivery of a wind-up shell to the Lost-and-Foundery, and the discovery of a fish shaped bottle that Mrs. Fossil, Dr. Thalassi, the local fishermen, and the son of a fisherman lost at sea, all claim. Lady Kraken further complicates things by entrusting Herbie to find the most deserving owner.

The storm, the fish bottle, and the mysterious script on the bottle, all help build more of the history of the area. Eerie-on-Sea now has a timeline going back a thousand years. It's also absolutely tied to the supernatural happenings that appear to be a normal part of the ebb and flow of the town.

Like Malamander the overall lesson is to second guess the stories. If there's a monster involved, question why its perceived as a monster. The second lesson is to question the authority of adults. Finally, one should learn to trust one's ability to find the answers, even to emotionally tough questions.

Chart showing the drastic shift on the RNS between the two books

Also like the first book, Gargantis is an outlier, being a British book that sits on the road narrative spectrum. This time five elite groups end up traveling together. As each person on the final journey have a necessary skillset, collectively they are privileged (00) travelers. Their destination is the wildlands (99) — namely a dangerous location offshore. Their route their is the labyrinth (99) in two forms: one is the classic spiral, this time in the ocean currents, and the other is metaphoric, in that the journey changes the perceptions of nearly everyone involved. In summary, Gargantis can be said to be about privileged travelers who go to the wildlands via the labyrinth to save their town (009999).

There's a third novel in the works.

Five stars

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