Title: Balthazar Fabuloso in the Lair of the Humbugs
Author: I.J. Brindle
Illustrator: Sholto Walker
Series: Stand Alone (at this time)
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Balthazar Fabuloso in the Lair of the Humbugs is an extremely fun, incredibly strange read!
No, honestly, this book got weirder and weirder the further I got into it. Which, in my opinion, is perfect for the age range it is intended for (middle grade) because it will keep them interested and going!
So what is Balthazar Fabuloso in the Lair of the Humbugs about exactly? Well, it is about Balthazar Fabuloso mostly and his family. See, Balthazar doesn't really fit with the rest of the Fabuloso group. They are all magicians, but they are all REAL magicians. And by real I mean that they have ACTUAL magic, not just sleight of hand tricks.
Everyone in the Fabuloso family has real magic. Everyone except for Balthazar that is. He is just a normal kid. He has no magic skills whatsoever. He has to rely on sleight of hand to help his family out in their stage show.
Needless to say, this doesn't make Balthazar feel very good about himself.
It also doesn't help that his family is a bit down and out on their luck. Their family mansion is falling apart. They have a nemesis in the Fistulas - another real magic family trying to take their show.
Oh and then one day in the middle of a show all of Balthazar's family, except for him, disappear.
I know it doesn't necessarily sound weird from my brief description of the story, but yes, trust me, it is. There are tarantula pets. Magic. Very weird family members. And a lot of other things that I don't want to mention!
As far as the visuals I got while reading this story, wow. I had absolutely no trouble imagining anything! I was surprised a little with how dark some of the stuff was, but that probably made my own personal visuals that much better. Nothing was too scary or anything, just unexpected.
The characters, over all, were fun and very quirky. And I mean it. They were very very quirky! Some more than others, but each was special in their own way. Very imaginative!
I definitely recommend this book. It was a lot of fun and kept my interest the whole way through, and I am way above the intended age group! I do hope that there will be more books filled with Balthazar Fabuloso and his insanely creative adventures!
This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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