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Published: 7 May 2020

Paperback / softback, 352 pages

Recommended for age 9+

By Thomas Taylor

Illustrated by Thomas Taylor

Published by Walker Books Ltd

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There's a storm raging in Eerie-on-Sea. Has the mighty Gargantis come back from the deep...?

When an ancient bottle is found washed up on the beach after a ferocious electrical storm, all the residents of Eerie-on-Sea seem to want it ... but should they in fact fear it? Legend has it that the bottle contains an extraordinary secret that spells doom for the whole of Eerie-on-Sea.

Could it be true that the vast sea creature Gargantis has awoken from her slumbers, and is causing the large cracks that are appearing all across the town? Finding themselves entrusted with the bottle, Herbie and Violet discover they will need to ride the terrible storm and pacify the creature if they want to save Eerie-on-Sea from sliding into the ocean and being lost forever. 


Reviewed by Heather Hann

Gargantis is the sequel to Malamander, which introduced the characters of Herbie Lemon, the Lost-and Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, and Violet Parma who works at the Eerie Book Dispensary.

Eerie-on-Sea is experiencing a series of storms like no other. They are causing the ground to shake and even the fishermen are afraid to set out to sea. The town has an ancient saying – ‘Gargantis sleeps, Eerie keeps. Gargantis wakes, Eerie quakes and all falls into the sea.’ But what is Gargantis and can Eerie be saved?

An ancient artefact is washed up on the beach, containing a magical secret. It is up to Herbie and Violet to solve the mystery of the artefact and who it really belongs to. Can they discover who the mysterious hooded stranger is, whilst avoiding the fisherman, Dr Thalassi and Mrs Fossil who all want the artefact for themselves?

This was an engaging and exciting book by Thomas Taylor; a real page turner full of excitement and danger. The descriptions of the characters and the action really helped bring it to life and I found myself submerged in the world of Eerie-on-Sea. I also loved the illustrations on the chapter headings and the map at the front of the book which gave a bird’s eye view of the town. Although it is a sequel it can easily be read as a stand-alone and any links to the previous book are carefully explained. I would recommend as a class novel and a ‘must have’ on the classroom bookshelf, to engage readers in Year 5 and 6. It is a thrilling and enjoyable read and I thoroughly enjoyed it; I can’t wait for the next instalment!

Heather is currently the Head of School Improvement for a large MAT in Suffolk. Before that she spent 25 years teaching in Essex where she worked as a teacher and part of the Essex School Improvement Team as a Literacy Consultant; before finally becoming Headteacher of a Primary School. She loves reading, baking, visiting her beach hut and Wallace and Gromit; seeking out every opportunity to combine them wherever possible!