Pure Dead Trouble

Pure Dead Trouble

3.3 3
by Debi Gliori
     
 

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After a vacation in Italy, the Strega-Borgia clan arrives home to a shocking discovery: their faithful butler Latch lying comatose on the front doorstep, reeking faintly of sulphur. Horrified and troubled, Titus and Pandora suspect this may be an omen of bad fortune, but both are soon distracted by their own problems.

Only Nanny McLachlan realizes the truth:… See more details below

Overview

After a vacation in Italy, the Strega-Borgia clan arrives home to a shocking discovery: their faithful butler Latch lying comatose on the front doorstep, reeking faintly of sulphur. Horrified and troubled, Titus and Pandora suspect this may be an omen of bad fortune, but both are soon distracted by their own problems.

Only Nanny McLachlan realizes the truth: Whatever it was that came for Latch is coming back. And when it does, will she alone be strong enough to protect the family?


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This latest escapade of the Strega-Borgia family mixes dangerous adventure with episodes of the absurd. The result is stylistically similar to The Addams Family; however, this novel in the "Pure Dead" series is not quite exaggerated enough to be farcical, nor is it serious enough to be high fantasy. Instead, the story seems to be caught somewhere in between the two genres. For example, while the author does an excellent job of subverting a reader's expectations of magical and dangerous creatures, she does little to explore the witches' magic in this story, mentioning their abilities only casually. The plot also contains a confusing web of story lines, including a replacement butler involved in eco-terrorism, a demon hunting a mythical gemstone, and a comical love affair between the resident dragon and the Sleeper (a Loch Ness-type monster). Unfortunately, none of these plot lines is resolved very well, clearly leaving space for another sequel to follow. Furthermore, while the parents are typically absent, their authority is transferred wholly onto the strangely very-much-present Mrs. McLachlan, a nanny who is treated as something of a wonder-woman. Finally, disturbing imagery peppers the novel, including mild scenes of torture, rabies, and the horrors of experimental labs. Overall, the book is entertaining but insubstantial. 2004, Borzoi Book/Alfred A. Knopf, Ages 10 to 14.
—Laura Ruttig
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-The Strega-Borgias are back. This time, someone has attacked their butler, Latch, leaving him with amnesia and a strange sulphuric aroma. Demons from Hades have come looking for the Chronostone, which will give the Boss domination over time itself. Nanny McLachlan, who travels about on a flying rug, is trying to protect the family, while Damp and Pandora discover their magical gifts. What is the relationship between the temporary butler and the new biotechnology company in town? Gliori's talented writing keeps readers guessing from beginning to end. Humorous interludes mix with suspense and fantasy to create a cauldron full of zaniness. Reminiscent of the Addams Family and the Munsters, the Strega-Borgias are nevertheless originals. Vertical line drawings embellish chapter openings. Newcomers don't need to have read the earlier volumes to follow the action, but knowledge of the back story certainly adds to the fun. Devotees will be standing in line for this delightful installment in the series.-Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A powerful demon, a psychopath turned Eco-Warrior and, almost worst of all, a seemingly archetypal pair of American tourists join the cast for this fourth outing with the tumultuous Strega-Borgia clan. Returning from Italy to find their butler Latch in an amnesiac daze, the Strega-Borgias hire a temp named Zander, who seems to be a New Age hippie but is really a murderous explosives expert out to shut down gruesome genetic experiments being clandestinely conducted at nearby SapienTech. There's worse trouble afoot, though, as Isagoth, Head of Hell's own Defense Ministry, is zeroing in on the Chronostone, a uniquely dangerous magical token that his boss, S'tan, really, really wants. Some of the set pieces take a bit too long to play out and the actual fate of hyper-competent nanny and retired witch Mrs. McLachlan remains obscure after she takes on the demon. But Gliori stirs in such a delicious assortment of crises domestic and supernatural, of magical creatures both comic and frightening (sometimes in turn), of slapstick, preposterous twists, hair-raising brushes with death, close encounters with gooey slime of several varieties, massive messes and explosions-all ramping up to a violent, helter-skelter climax-that it's all still pure, dead entertaining. (Fantasy. 11-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307497444
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/19/2009
Series:
Pure Dead Series
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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