Into the Shadowlands

Into the Shadowlands

by Cynthia Reeg

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In this tale of two monsters, seventh-grade troll Malcolm McNastee is on a mission to rid Uggarland of misfits, especially Frankenstein (Frank) Frightface Gordon. Much to Malcolm’s horror, Frank rescued Malcolm’s disgraced dad from exile. This unspeakable act could tarnish Malcolm’s true-blood troll reputation. On the other claw, Frank—a neat freak who’s never fit the normal monster mode—must quickly reform under a new Uggarland law. If he doesn’t, he could face exile—or worse. Malcolm decides to regain his good-monster standing by leading Frank and a band of misfits into the dangerous Shadowlands—where many enter and few emerge unscathed. Frank and Malcolm must brave the Shadowlands’ perils, realizing that even if they make it out alive, their lives will never be the same.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"There’s a little something for everyone here; suspense, adventure, a blossoming romance, and some truly corny humor from a two-headed gargoyle."—School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Gr 3–5—Being a misfit monster is a serious problem in Uggarland and can eventually lead to exile or even death. Fortunately for Frankenstein (Frank) Gordon and his nonconformist friends, there is an "Odd Monsters Out" class at Fiendful Fiends Academy, where the eccentricities range from a dragon who can't breathe fire to a vampire who drinks milk. In this second installment of the series, Frank and his friends have just returned from a daring rescue of two misfits from exile but soon find themselves in another deadly situation. Their class is sent on a scavenger hunt to the Shadowlands, the treacherous divide between Uggarland and the human world, which is full of dangerous animals and malevolent spirits. To make matters worse, Frank's nemesis, the troll Malcolm McNastee, has been assigned to chaperone the group. Malcolm reviles all misfits and has a very personal reason for hating Frank above all others. There's a little something for everyone here; suspense, adventure, a blossoming romance, and some truly corny humor from a two-headed gargoyle. VERDICT An approachable read for fans of adventure/fantasy and humor in a school setting. While feasible as a stand-alone, it is optimal to have read the first installment.—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews

Following From the Grave (2016), Frank and the misfits face a plot against them and bully Malcolm struggles with his family secret.Seventh-grade troll Malcolm McNastee is devastated that his father didn't actually die a hero and instead was exiled to Exxillium, a place of shame for inferior "misfit" monsters. Malcolm's father has been newly rescued by Frankenstein monster Frank (a misfit due to his not-so-scary blue skin and fastidious ways) and his sixth-grade friends. Chapters alternate between Frank and Malcolm, with Frank keeping secret his revolutionary activities and worrying about a missing friend, and Malcolm grappling with his father's status as a hated outcast and also doing evil Principal Snaggle's bidding. Snaggle has a plan to send the Odd Monsters Out class on a field trip to the Shadowlands during a dangerous storm in hopes that none of them will return. Several of the story's elements—the principal's plot to kill students, a storyline about aggressive conformity, a dream that Malcolm has about sending the misfits through a human shredder, and even some suicidal ideation—are at odds with cutesy monster-themed names and puns (Moanday, Tooshday, Shocktober, and, leaving the calendar behind, "horrorcane" and "slybrary," for instance). The vast majority of the tale is buildup, with the titular trip over in a blink, to be quickly followed by setup for the next book. Poor pacing, jerky plot, uneven content: skip. (Fantasy/horror. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631631351
Publisher: North Star Editions
Publication date: 10/10/2017
Series: Monster or Die
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 200
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews