By: Alexandra Bracken
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: September 5th, 2017
Series: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #1
Ages: 9 & up
Add it to Goodreads
Source: arc / book from publisher in exchange for my honest review
Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.
The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.
Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.
The perfect Halloween read! Bracken’s middle grade debut is the perfect blend of creepy, spellbinding, and mixed with the right amount of humor to keep the story lighthearted. I liked the mix of witches, demons, and the history, and legends that have been past down through the generations in Prospers family, that tie into this story.
The story is about 12 year old Prosper Redding, who has the unfortunate task of having a malefactor named Alastor, the demon thing who shares his body, thanks to a centuries old curse that his forefather broke. Prosper isn’t at all who Malefactor excepts him to be. In fact, he’s not at all what I had excepted him to be either. He’s a character you can’t help but want to love. The dialogue between Prosper and Alastor is at times comical. There are times, like when Prosper needs to run for his life, that Alastor comes in handy. Though Alastor is the real reason why Prosper’s life is threatened in the first place.
Plot wise, I had a hard time diving into this book like I have with Bracken’s YA books. I’m not sure what exactly it was. This book is definitely a fun read with a twists, and darker, fantasy elements to it. It’s one as a middle grade reader I would have devoured. Having said that, this is a book that is written for a middle grade audience whom I can see easily jumping into this dark, twisted, middle grade book.