(Luck Uglies #1)
Author: Paul Durham
Length: 405 pages
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Rating: 5 Stars
The Luck Uglies is the first in a tween fantasy-adventure trilogy brimming with legends come to life, a charming wit, and a fantastic cast of characters-and is imbued throughout with the magic of storytelling.
Strange things are happening in Village Drowning, and a terrifying encounter has Rye O'Chanter convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have returned.
Now Rye's only hope is an exiled secret society so notorious its name can't be spoken aloud: the Luck Uglies. As Rye dives into Village Drowning's maze of secrets, rules, and lies, she'll discover the truth behind the village's legends of outlaws and beasts...and that it may take a villain to save them from the monsters.
The first in a series, The Luck Uglies is an altogether irresistible cross of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, Stefan Bachmann's The Peculiar, and Chris Healy's The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, overflowing with adventure, secrets, friendship, and magic. -Goodreads
Rye is a girl who, is in and out of so many adventures, so much of the time, that it is very clear that she is not one to be confined by prescribed limits upon her gender.
In fact, she gets so much done in such a gung ho fashion, and proves to be such a great leader that one tends not to see gender at all.
The O'Chanter clan is a rather unorthodox one to say the least, and kudos must be given to the fact that much of the mystery and intrigue that occurs in the first half of the book is as a result of Rye's being out to solve mysteries supplied by none other than her mother, one Abbey O'Chanter.
If that adventure isn't enough to quench your thirst for adventure, there are a myriad of others.
It seems that the dreaded Bog Noblins, (a troll-like creature with a penchant for necklaces made of human feet)have wandered into the town of Drowning. Her mother has brought a strange but very likable man named Harmless home.
There is talk that the Luck Uglies are coming to regain their former glory as saviors of the town; by banishing the dreaded Bog Noblins forever.
That is despite the best efforts of one very tyrannical ruler in the form of Earl Longchance.
No adventure would be complete without a host of colorful supporting characters, and intricate settings. This read has both in spades.
From the raw and rowdy Dead Fish Inn, to the dark and dank marsh of The Bog. The settings offer just the right backdrop for whatever action is afoot, at just the right time.
As far as a cast of characters go...
The likes of these can't be beat. Whether it be human, animal, or monster, each adds a flavor or nuance to the overall work that would be sorely missed without it.
A most outstanding example of this can be found in Shady, the O'chanters' cat. He proves just as efficient at finding mayhem and mischief as his adventurous mistress, and comes complete with some very surprising secrets of his own.
This is the first offering of what this reviewer is sure will be a wonderful series for young and old alike.
That perfect new adventure ready to be embarked upon.