Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Reviews ~ Delilah Dusticle & Delilah Dusticle's Transylvanian Adventure by A.J. York

Title: Delilah Dusticle (Delilah Dusticle #1).
Author: A.J. York.
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy.
Release Date: March 3, 2013.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Delilah Dusticle has special powers, she can completely eradicate dust. With her quiver pouch of special dusters Delilah can run up walls and reaches places others just can’t. As a maid in the Fenchurch-Whittington house Delilah’s unusual skills soon lead to her being promoted to Chief Dust Eradicator and Remover. Until one day a broken heart leads to her powers taking an expected turn.

This is the first in a series of touching and funny stories about Delilah Dusticle. Follow her on a journey of self-discovery, friendship and adventure.




Excerpt:

A suit of armour standing beside her in the hall coughed and shot out a puff of dust from its helmet. “Staff are not permitted to fraternise with the family and any shenanigans would lead to instant dismissal,” wheezed the armour.

“Don’t I know it,” said Delilah who then waved her duster at the falling dust cloud making it vanish in mid-air. For good measure she selected her dandelion duster and polished the armour, who was very ticklish and kept giggling. She then made her way to the staff kitchen for dinner.

Review:

Delilah Dusticle combined all the components I love to see in a middle grade book – charm, friendship, fun and humour. A.J. York wrote what I would consider a near-perfect children’s story, with uplifting messages throughout.

The book is very short which for me suggests that it would be the kind of book fitting for a heart-warming end to the day. The plot went down a more unexpected route for me as I was expecting it to focus more on the heartbreak and not friendship. However, it was the friendship which gives the book a sweet, positive feel for younger readers – for me giving the impression that when you’re in a slump, friendship will help you find yourself and bring your mood back up.

The eccentric fantasy elements in Delilah Dusticle were fun and humorous. I loved the small moments when Delilah talked to the portrait and I also liked how her dust-eradicating powers seemed to be linked to how happy she was. A good mood meant good dusting and sadness and heartbreak stopped her powers from working.

Amongst the entertaining story was a selection of quirky illustrations which fit the book brilliantly. They’re great for keeping smiles on faces even through the sadder moments in Delilah’s story and really made this book a must-read children’s story.

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Title: Delilah Dusticle's Transylvanian Adventure (Delilah Dusticle #2).
Author: A.J. York.
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy.
Release Date: January 15, 2014.

Purchase: Amazon UK

In this illustrated instalment, Delilah and the Dustbusters are invited to Transylvania to cater for the Hallow Eve Ball. All is not what it seems and Count Dracula has a very unusual request for Delilah.

This is the second in a series of stories following Delilah and the Dustbusters on journeys and adventures around the world. Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure guarantees to have has more action than you can shake a feather duster at!




Excerpt

There was also an ugly brown sponge that looked like a grumpy gargoyle with a squished face. Delilah called him Grumpy Sponge. He would suck up dust on contact, or, if Delilah was feeling sad, he would throw-up dirt on every surface.

Delilah wiped every book in the library with Grumpy Sponge, who would stick out his tongue and lick up any grime, and then she would do a quick sweep with Abi’s dusters to remove any small dust flakes. Delilah was leaning into the fireplace with Grumpy Sponge, who instead of licking up soot was now sucking up coal dust, when the lady of the house appeared. She looked about the room to ensure they were alone and then handed Delilah a letter.

“It is from a very distant cousin of mine. He wishes to acquire your services for his annual event.”

Delilah turned the letter in her hands. It was very strange indeed. It was an old, yellowed piece of folded cartridge paper with her name written in spindly pink writing on the front. On the back was a red wax seal, imprinted with the image of a winking bat.

Review:

Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure is a light-hearted read packed with weird and wonderful characters sure to result in plenty of giggles and fun.

The second instalment in the Delilah Dusticle series started off a little slow, as it seemed to recap on what happened in the first novella. However, once Delilah and the Dustbusters started on their way to Transylvania, this book brought the humour, entertainment and quirky nature which I loved in book one.

There was a whole host of characters featured in this book, from the relatively normal Dev and Doris to Count Dracula to football-playing spiders and Grumpy Sponge. Although I expected and hoped that Abi would be involved more as she was a big part of book one, there were plenty of other characters who kept the charm, bringing friendship and loyalty.

Gavin Childs' illustrations added some colour and spark to the book and I was glad to see more illustrations in this book than book one. They all worked wonderfully with the story and provided more entertainment instead of a distraction.

Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure has a mixture of things young readers will enjoy, from heroes and villains to fun characters and plenty of laughs. The mixture of fantasy elements lead you into another world you just might not want to leave.

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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