The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding By Alexandra Bracken

Title: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

First Published: 5th September 2017

Blurb:

I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type. 

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host. (From Goodreads, 22nd February 2019)

Review:

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding is a middle-grade novel that will capture the interest and imagination of both children and adults alike. Or at least for myself, as an adult, it did!

Prosper Redding is part of a family that has achieved a lot, but he does not seem to be following suit. Prosper falls asleep in class, has unremarkable grades and feels that he does not live up to his family name. The Redding families success is due to a long-ago contract with a fiend, a demon, called Alastor. However, the family is waiting for the fiend to return to destroy it. Prosper becomes the unwilling host to Alastor, putting him at risk from his family.

Prosper escapes from his family and hides with his uncle and cousin who are trying to remove the fiend from his body without harming Prosper. Prosper is constantly fighting to not take out a new contract with Alastor and is also unaware of the control the fiend has of his body. Having a demon take control of your body is not always a good thing it would transpire!

I really enjoyed this book, it was fun but also had a dark side and quite a few storylines going on. Although the characters are young they had a full range of emotions and the book dealt with these in a non-patronising way. Highlighting that children do feel despair and loneliness, but that circumstances can change and things can get better.

The storytelling is fantastic and grips you from the very beginning. This is a fast-paced novel that will have you wanting more. I really want to get the second novel in this duology, The Last Life of Prince Alastor, as I enjoyed The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding so much.

I would say boys and girls would both enjoy this book, but that young adults and adults will enjoy it also. It is an escape into a tale of mystery and magic and just a perfect read whilst it is dull and cold outside.

4 out of 5 stars.

Matilda By Roald Dahl

  Okay so ‘Matilda’ isn’t really an adult or young adult, so I am kind of broken my own rules BUT it is my all time favorite novel and one I go back to again and again.

Matilda has been born into a family who doesn’t want her. Her father is dodgy car dealer, her mother solely interested in herself and her older brother is falling into that way of life.

Matilda, however, learns from a young age how to look after herself, and begins to find solace in the local library where she reads the entire children’s section before moving onto adult novels. Matilda does not realise that she is extraordinary. She is special.

When Matilda starts school she begins to learn her true potential and her ability to stand against the evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull. A beautiful novel of magic, freedom, good and evil, and a way of understanding of the real world.

Matilda is a fantastic novel to spark children’s (and adults) imaginations. A feel good novel that shoes the importance of books.

If you do anything for your children buy them Matilda, or in fact the whole Roald Dahl children’s collection of books! Also check out the movie and the musical!

Among Others By Jo Walton

Blub from Amazon:

Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Winner of the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novel. Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

I did not really enjoy this novel but think many other who like fantasy will. A novel written in diary format by our protagonist Mor. Mor is a young adult who has a past we being to learn about as the novel progresses. She has a bad leg. A dead twin. An absent mother. A knowledge of magic. A fascination with Science fiction and fantasy novels.
Despite all these possible avenues to provide an interesting plot I feel Jo Walton failed. However, there are many others who disagree with me on that count.
Mor is different from her peers and this is very apparent as soon as she starts at a new school, a boarding school in which her previously estranged father has placed her. Through the diary entries we learn where Mor has come from and how she adapts to a new town and a new situation.
A coming of age novel with a twist into the realm of fantasy, magic and relationships.
For me the constant lists of novels that Mor has read or is currently reading distracted me as I do not read fantasy or science fiction and thus had not read any of the novels that were talked about and only recognised a few authors who were mentioned. However I can image for readers of these genres it would add another layer of understanding into the characters and the understanding of Mor’s life.
For me this is a 3 out of 5. Interesting ideas but not enough plot for me.