Series: A Fiendish Arrangement book 1
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Length: 10 hrs.
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Overall goodreads rating: 4.1
Published: Recorded Books
My Rating: 5/5
This book was so much fun to listen to. It gave me the same feels that a fun Halloween Disney movie would. Anyone else remember Halloween Town? This quickly became a favorite for me, and it's a fantastic addition to the middle grade urban fantasy genre.
I went into this book pretty blind, and I think that is the best way to go into this epic adventure. This review will give a short description of the plot, but I won't go into too much detail.
Our main character Prosper comes from a family full of history, power money, and lies. Oh I almost forgot, and a demon. Prosper quickly learns his family is cursed, and of course with his luck, he is caught in the middle. Prosper has a demon living inside of him, and only has a short amount of time to get the demon out of him, and end the curse. The plot to me was complex in a way that most middle grade books aren't, and it was awesome! Bracken did a great job giving young readers a story that was written in a way that was easy to follow, but had a story line that could rival some YA novels. I loved how she didn't play down her story. Middle grade reads can have the feeling of the author talking down to the reader or making the plot too simply, and this can cause the reader to lose interests.
Bracken went into great detail with this book, and I loved it. I am a reader who craves detail. I know that sometimes too much detail can feel like information overload, but I didn't feel like that in this book. I think she gave the right amount of detail to set the atmosphere she was striving to reach. It set up a Halloween atmosphere that I craved, and made the book come to life.
Our main character Prosper was a fun character similar to Percy Jackson in the ways that we all love. He is loyal, courageous, and funny. Prosper's loyalty to the ones he loves makes him lovable and inspiring. I loved how we get to see Prosper develop as much as we do in this book. He goes from having poor me syndrome to seeing how privilege he has been. He starts understand the difficulties others go through, and how he can sometimes help them, and other times he can't. Prosper learns what true love, friendship, selflessness, and disappointment is. It's an epic roller coaster he must go on to find out these truths.
As weird as it may sound I really enjoyed the demon in this book. HEAR ME OUT BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME. I mean I know we aren't suppose to like demons. Alastor is hilarious and sassy, and if you need to know that's the way to my heart dear friends. He is high and mighty on his demon horse, and stares down on humans with his judging eyes. He doesn't understand why humans act human.
He is constantly questioning everything Prosper does, and is annoyed with how imperfect Prosper is. Their banter is hysterical and had me laughing out loud multiple times. We learn more about Alastor's background. We learn about his family, his place in that dynamic, and how he ended up in the middle of the curse as well.
There are other characters in the book that I loved, but again I feel like if I talk about them, I am giving away hidden gems that you need to find on your own. I know you're thinking what kind of review is this? Well my friend this is an honest and vague review. Put simply if you want a fun, Halloween read that has an intriguing plot, comedic and lovable characters this book is for you. That's all you need to know. (I say this in my sweetest overly excited voice, and if we were face to face I would be jumping up and down shoving this book into your hands).
The narrator did a great job, and brought the characters to life for me. Personally I enjoyed the audio version, and had no difficulties following it. I have a younger brother in the 7th grade, and while I think the audio version would be a fun mix up I will be getting him the hard copy instead. He does best with a physical copy.
This book got me excited to read again. After having a personal tragedy in April I haven't been truly excited about anything reading wise. This book reminding me of how fun reading can be. You know that feeling when a book just makes you feel light and all your troubles melt away? Do you know when a book gives you joy and happiness like a little kid? This book gave me that again, and I will forever be grateful.