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Written by Thomas Taylor

Illustrated by Thomas Taylor

Part of the An Eerie-on-Sea Mystery Series

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Shadowghast Review

Books of the Month Crime / Mystery Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 9+ readers

A new mystery washes up at Eerie-on-Sea

September 2021 Book of the Month

On the eve of Ghastly Night, a hypnotic stage magician, Caliastra, checks in to Eerie-on-Sea’s Grand Nautilus Hotel. She’s arrived with her entourage to put on a show – and she claims to be related to Herbert Lemon. Caliastra’s act is so shadowy and strange that Herbie’s friend Violet wonders if dark forces are at work, but Herbie won’t hear a word said against his new relation.  


Shadowghast Synopsis

A creepy magician with a shadowy act. A legend that goes back to the dawn of time. Eerie-on-Sea just got stranger. And darker...

A mysterious stage magician has set up in the theatre at the end of the pier, with an act so hypnotic and strange that Herbie Lemon and his friend Violet Parma suspect dark forces are at work. Meanwhile, folk are disappearing from Eerie-on-Sea, and no one knows why. There is an Eerie legend that goes back to the dawn of time, about a creature made of darkness that devours the shadows of the living. But could the Shadowghast really have returned?

Shadowghast Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading4Kids expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

I loved this story so much! It had me gripped from the first page! I loved the character’s personalities and how they were so detailed and they were all so different. I loved reading this book and look forward to the next! Full review

Zayna (Age 12)

This gripping story is bound to amuse you in the best way. I could not put it down, not even for a second. Full review

Alex Urban (Age 9)

Like a perfect recipe, the perfect amount of mystery and intrigue! Full review

Bethany McNeil (Age 13)

This is a great adventure from the Eerie-On-Sea mysteries that you won't be able to put down. For kids who love suspense! Full review

Euan Hosie (Age 10)

I really like this dark and creepy book! I loved all the characters (especially Violet) and all of the adventures they had on Ghastly Night in Eerie-On-Sea. I would definitely recommend it! Full review

Emily Welbourn (Age 10)

This book has a great combination of suspense, creepiness and thrill. Full review

Lukas Stewart (Age 12)

Herbie and Violet return in Eerie on Sea. A mysterious magician arrives and could spell danger for the inhabitants. A gripping story with a cunning twist. Full review

Philippa Ferry (Age 9)

Shadowghast Press Reviews

Praise for the series;

“Taylor’s prose effervesces with humour, the setting is richly atmospheric, the story sails along at a rate of knots and all the characters are beautifully drawn. Herbie and Violet are destined for more adventures and I, for one, can’t wait.” The Daily Mail

“Full of unforgettable characters and brimming with maritime mystery, Malamander is a masterclass in original story-telling. Taylor’s magical touch makes you believe in the impossible.” Catherine Doyle, author of The Storm Keeper’s Island

“Taylor is a supremely elegant writer, who does not dilly-dally. The plot is delivered like gunfire, and even less confident readers will be encouraged by cliffhanger chapters and knuckle-whitening prose. […] Children’s fantasy has become a crowded landscape in which new novelists can vanish without trace, but Taylor stands out. This is a sumptuously imagined book, which works a powerful spell.” The Telegraph

“Taylor knows how to create atmosphere and a sense of creepy place. It’s a book to be devoured, but is also born for the screen — and I can’t wait to see this south-coast Grand Budapest Hotel meets The Shape of Water (but with a better plot) become a hit.” The Times, Children’s Book of the Week

“This book introduces a diverse new detective duo in Herbie and Violet, and is told with such neat storytelling and surprising phrases it would be a joy to read aloud.” The Sunday Times, Children’s Book of the Week

“This is fantastical storytelling at its best with a Dickensian cast and a terrifying beast from the deep. This enthralling oceanic adventure had me hoping our heroic lost and foundlings will have more mysteries to solve in books to come. I wanted to read on and on.” M. G. Leonard, Author of Beetle Boy

“Mermonkeys, monsters and magic, oh my! Malamander is a brilliantly plotted mystery swirling with secrets, myths and the enigmatic residents of one unforgettable sea-side town.” Jennifer Bell, author of The Uncommoners

“[…] a wonderfully imaginative and atmospheric adventure, rich in myth and legend and with a delicious gothic edge […] Malamander confirms him as a ferociously talented writer […] this really is one that deserves all the buzz.” Fiona Noble, The Bookseller, Children’s Book of the Month

“Clever writing, swirling with atmosphere, standout characters and a crackling story combine to make this something special.”  The Irish Independent, Children’s Books of the Year

“The seaside in midwinter makes a fabulous setting for Thomas Taylor’s Malamander. More, please.” New Statesman

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781406386301
Publication date: 02/09/2021
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406386301
Publication date: 2nd September 2021
Author: Thomas Taylor
Illustrator: Thomas Taylor
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 336 pages
Suitable for: 9+ readers
Genres: Crime / Mystery, Fantasy / Magical
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Reviewed by Children
Collections: Scary Reads for Halloween!,

About Thomas Taylor

Thomas Taylor was born in Norwich, but grew up by the sea in Wales. His childhood was mostly about drawing, something he learnt to do in Maths classes. After art school, Thomas set out to illustrate books, then to write them himself. His first commission was the cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. Following this, he pursued a career in picture books, mostly from France where he lived for many years. Thomas now lives on the south coast of England and has two sons. Sometimes they ask for help with their ...

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