Thursday, September 9, 2021

Review: Lillian Lovecraft and the Harmless Horrors by David Nielson

by David Nielson
Nielson Books
Upper Middle Grade Fantasy / Paranormal  / Comedy
372 pages
ages 10 to 14


Lillian Lovecraft is being haunted by a truly annoying and obnoxious horror named Frank, who has seven eyes, three mouths, five tentacles, and eats mustard. As harmless as he is, however, his arrival serves as a harbinger of far more dangerous things to come.

Slowly but surely, untold horrors from beyond time and space enter into the peaceful village of Grotesque Gulch, culminating in a giant eyeball which intends to enslave and devour humanity.

Lillian and her friends (with the occasional assist from Frank) must figure out how to stop this demented eyeball before it brings about the end of the world.

No pressure.



With a nod toward Lovecraft, this book captures the creepy original-ness, wraps it in a cloud of humor, and brings it all down to a middle grade level. And all of that in a masterful manner.

Lillian Lovecraft doesn't have to worry about anything surrounding the boring world of something called 'normality', and this becomes clearer when she runs into Frank. But this is only the beginning as it soon becomes clear that nothing will be normal in Grotesque Gulch. Time, space, and everything strange with it appears more and more in the town. Lillian and her friends try to go with it until something leaks in, which really causes problems...something none of them could have ever dreamed up on there own.

I've read the works of this author before and enjoy his slightly darker and unique twist. This book, obviously, takes inspiration from the amazing worlds of Mr. Lovecraft. While it incorporates similar unique creatures and atmosphere, the author makes sure to keep it all at a level, which is perfect for middle grade readers. The fantasy flies and the world building draws in, making the reader feel as if they are really there. But it's the lovely addition of humor mixed with all of it, which really makes this one shine.

Lillian is a character to root for. She's very independent and has a mind and opinions of her own. It's easy to sympathize with her and wish to be one of her friends...even if that would take a lot on the bravery scale. That she works with her friends and even, later, with the odd creature, Frank, is inspiring and carries a wonderful message as well.

In other words, this is a great read for all of those who are looking for a fantastical tale, which follows a slightly different path. 

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