Pure Dead Batty (UK title: Deep Water)
by Debi Gliori
The fifth of six books featuring the, ahem, colorful Strega-Borgia family of
Auchenlochtermuchty, Scotland, is a bit of a downer, at least to begin with.
At the end of the previous adventure (Pure Dead Trouble
, a.k.a. Deep
), the redoutable nanny Mrs. McLachlan sank into the waters of
Lochnagargoyle and didn't come back to the surface.
What 13-year-old Titus, his sister Pandora, and their baby sister Damp - the
most freakishly powerful sorcerer in training pants - don't know is that
Mrs. McLachlan is immortal, and that she has taken refuge on an island on
the edge of Death's realm, hoping to keep the all-powerful Chronostone from
falling into the hands of the Prince of Darkness. Together with a fiend from
hell, Flora remains marooned because Death refuses to take possession of the
stone unless a mortal willingly passes into his realm with it - and because
the thread that anchors her to her home has slipped out of the frozen
fingers of the cryogenically-preserved Strega-Nonna.
How do the kids and their magical-beast friends get into deep water? Damp's
growing ability to plunge into the world of stories and make-believe, along
with her chatty bat familiar, has something to do with it. So do Pandora's
camera with its mysterious power to capture images of the past, the new
member of Titus's band with his non-mysterious power to cheese everybody
off, the potion that makes Titus burst out into full (but premature) manhood
just in time for the attractive young replacement nanny to arrive, the
moving and talking portraits in the "ancestors' room," and the messages
spelled out in letter-shaped refrigerator magnets. Meanwhile, their father
has been arrested for murder, their evil Uncle Lucifer has hired The Devil
Himself to put a hit on the whole family, and Marie Bain (remember, the
worst French cook in the world?) gets her ultimate revenge.
If Harry Potter ignited in you a burning interest in things magical and
Scottish, here's the series for you. It has loads of creatures that would
make Hagrid's eyes dance with joy. It has bizarre, reality-bending magic. It
has a castleful of whimsical marvels. It has bad guys of over-the-top
campiness. It has violence, sadness, humor, and a lot of upchucking, besides
other grossness. And it has one more book to go: Pure Dead Frozen.
Recommended Age: Age: 12+
If you would like to contact Robbie, you may do so here.