Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Book Review: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #1)

Release Date: September 5, 2017
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Length: 272 pages
Source: eGalley from NetGalley

"I would say it's a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness."

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. 

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?



Protagonist(s): Prosper is the black sheep of the Redding family. For some reason, he doesn't seem to have the same luck and "charming" personality that the rest of his family does. His extended family treats him poorly, there's even a scene where Prosper goes over his cousins' names and after each one gives an example of how that particular cousin has been cruel to him, let's just say that there probably wasn't two sides to those stories. I wasn't even two full chapters into this book when I started tearing up with how sad Prosper's loneliness and isolation is. He literally has zero friends at the beginning of this book. However, that's all before Prosper learns that a demon, properly called a fiend, even more specifically a malefactor, is inside his body, waiting to get to full power and escape on Prosper's 13th birthday. There were so many times throughout this story that I wanted to hug Prosper and tell him he's worth something, which probably would have been weird for a nearly twenty-four-year-old man to do to a nearly thirteen-year-old boy he's not related to, but still, I empathize with Prosper so much and his journey and development over the course of this book is fantastic! Everything felt very natural and realistic, you know, minus the magical shenanigans. Alastor was also such a great bit of comic relief! His insults were astounding and I really liked him as a character, and since he's sort of part of Prosper I feel like I can talk a bit about him here. Alastor definitely has flaws, but his development is just as phenomenal, if not more, than Prosper's own.

World Building: This world is phenomenal. We learn so much about how the various worlds inside this universe work and how malefactors come into play and work within it. There's an interesting demonic (fiendish?) hierarchy within this story that serves as a bit of a subplot, or Alastor's plot, that begins to come more and more into play. The way the magic system works in this world is so captivating. I love how the author seems to be setting up a much larger story within this one. I know that's rather typical for series, but the way it's done here is particularly ambitious and exciting. There are elements brought in toward the end that I can't wait to see more of, things that sound grand and imperious. The whole tone of this story is perfect for the Fall season. Every moment I read this tale I wanted a nice hot cup of cider, maybe some candy corn until I realized it's 100° F and practically the middle of summer. It's a great Halloween read, while it's not scary there is definitely some nice spine chilling moments and moments of spectacular tension that make it perfect for an October read, plus the character Toad practically screams Halloween!

Predictability: I went into this book knowing what it's about, but I have to give the people over at Disney-Hyperion a round of applause for explaining the story without giving too much away. I mean, there were so many times in this story that I didn't know what would happen next. The author does a great job at leaving the breadcrumbs of foreshadowing throughout this novel. Sometimes I was able to pick the little things up and put the puzzle together, but other times I was completely floored only to look back and see all the signs I'd missed. There's one particularly, well actually two particularly, game changing twists towards the end, one that I had sort of guessed, but wasn't completely sure on, and another that I was sure of but still somehow rocked me to my core when proven right.

Ending: The ending of this story is magnificent! As things start to escalate things become more and more clear, which all leads into this amazing scene full of revelations and twists and I physically couldn't stop reading the story. Everything rises into this amazing crescendo that seems to set up the wider story of this world, and just when I'm waiting for the cooldown period to start, the book is over. This ending is amazing, I loved every second of it, but I need the next book. I've felt a need this strong before and I'm afraid I'll wake up tomorrow with the biggest book hangover I've ever known and you know what, it'd be worth it.


I loved this book, no scratch that I LOVE THIS BOOK! Everything just sucked me in and didn't let go. I can't wait to see what happens next and I can't wait for more of this world, and the series over arching plot to be uncovered as our hero(es) make their next move.


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