Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Short Story Review: Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest by A.J. York

Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest
by A.J. York
Published May 5, 2016

In this exciting instalment, Delilah Dusticle and the Dustbusters travel to the vibrant and mystical land of India. On arrival, they are tasked with a quest to overcome a powerful curse and save a life. It soon becomes clear that it is Delilah, who must find the strength and the power to defeat the curse. This is the third in a series of stories following Delilah and the Dustbusters on adventures around the world. Fully illustrated and packed with adventure!

My Review:
Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest is a modern-day fairytale featuring a dust fairy and her cleaning company. This time, she’s called on to save a town from a terrible curse, but though her dust fighting powers are perfect for the job, she knows she can’t use them in the way everyone expects.

I really enjoyed this story. The writing is tight and to the point, while still bringing to mind the vivid imagery that breathes life into a story. There’s a good bit of magic, as would be expected in a fairy tale, but in a modern setting. The characters are also pretty cool and varied in their personalities and quirks: the leather jacket guy (there’s a funny picture of him in the book), the lady who’s always searching for nearby enemies and threats, and even the grumpy sponge, whose grumpiness is offset by a new bout of orneriness I found delightful.

The illustrations are a bit more abstract than in earlier books, but artistically pleasing and complementary to the story. Near the end (starting chapter 10) the cute little spider is back (the one from the Transylvanian adventure). I’d have loved to see more pics of grumpy sponge because he’s another of my favorites, but what’s there is good.

The only thing that threw me off is that it’s been a bit too long since I’d read the previous book. As a short read, this story doesn’t spend much, if any, time reorienting readers to the things leading up to this point. For a little while, I thought I might have missed one of the books as what was mentioned seemed unfamiliar. I later figured out that some was referencing events from the previous story, some was previously unrevealed backstory, and the rest was filling in the time between the last story and this one. On that note, I’d recommend reading (or rereading) the previous two stories, plus Eliza Bluebell, before starting this one.

Overall, I thought this was a fun read, both humorous and serious at times with a clever cast of characters and an interesting setting. I’d recommend it to folks who like shorter reads, fairy tales, and funny stories. The illustrations are nice, too, though not quite as standalone entertaining as they were in the last book.

I received the review copy of this book from the author.

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