Caramel is a big fan of Tui Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series. After some cajoling, a couple weeks ago, he finally dove into Sutherland’s Menagerie series, cowritten with Kari Sutherland. And he has already read and reviewed the first book (The Menagerie) and the second book (Dragon on Trial). Today he wraps up the series with a review of the third book: Kraken and Lies. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.
Sprinkles: So this was book three of the Menagerie series. What did you think?
Caramel: It’s a good book!
S: I thought so too. Actually I liked this third book the most.
C: I didn’t. I think they were all good.
S: Yes, I do, too, but I kind of liked this one most because I thought it was so rich, and the authors tied up all the loose ends really well.
C: I agree. They did tie up a lot of loose ends. We even learned how and why the dragon was framed in Dragon on Trial.
S: You are very close to giving away a little too much Caramel. But yes, the unresolved issues from the earlier books all got cleared away in this one. But it was not only about resolving old issues, was it?
C: No, you are right. There is of course a new problem, a big one. Zoe’s ex-best-friend Jasmine’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sterling, apparently know about the Menagerie and are scheming some evil plot to expose and exploit it.
S: Yes, that is a big existential threat for the Menagerie, right? Nobody is supposed to know about it, and the Sterlings were supposed to have drunk kraken ink and forgotten all they had seen and learned about the Menagerie.
C: Well, Mr. and Mrs. Sterling were supposed to not know about the Menagerie. But apparently Jonathan, Jasmine’s brother, dated Zoe’s sister Ruby, and Ruby told him about it. And then Jonathan tried to steal a jackalope. And a jackalope is kind of like a jackrabbit, but it is not a regular one. Its body looks like a rabbit but it has antlers! But also they are magical creatures, and their milk can cure any illness. And they can imitate human voice and fool humans!
S: Yes, they are cool! But back to Jonathan and Ruby.
C: Oh yes. So they have to break up and Jonathan has to drink the kraken ink to forget everything about her and the Menagerie, but the family all has to drink the kraken ink so they can all forget about Ruby as well. So it is very strange that they now know about the Menagerie. And they are only interested in money so they will want to exploit it. And in the middle of all this, Logan’s mom is still missing and the Sterlings seem to have something to do with it…
S: Yes, that is correct. I think you described the central conflicts and plot problems of this book well, Caramel. So tell me, were there any new mythical creatures other than the jackalope that showed up?
C: There is Sapphire, a relative of Blue. She is a merperson.
S: Yes we saw merpeople before, though, no?
C: Well, here we see them a lot better because they go on a strike.
S: That is true; that part was very interesting.
C: And then we get to see the kraken a lot more up close.
S: That is true too.
C: And there is a Chinese dragon!
S: Yes! And the Chinese dragon has a pearl, a special pearl that holds its magic powers.
C: Yeah, that is true.
S: Did you know that Marshmallow has read and reviewed a book titled Dragon Pearl? You might actually like the book. It has all kinds of things you like: mythology, dragons, space ships!
C: Yes, that book sounds like just the kind of thing I would like to read. Maybe I will ask her to lend it to me.
S: I think she would be happy to share. But there were other magical mythical creatures in this book, no?
C: Yes, there was a selkie! A seal person!
S: Yes, that was a nice surprise, wasn’t it?
C: Yes, but now you are the one doing all the spoiling, Sprinkles!
S: Okay, okay, I’ll stop. So let us wrap things up then. Overall, did you like the Menagerie books?
C: Yes I liked them a lot. They are very different from the Wings of Fire books, but they are just as funny! And they are really cool, and I still think Squorp, the griffin cub, is the best ever!
S: Yes, I know. Okay, give me three words to describe the books and we are done.
C: Funny. And breath-taking, because I had to hold my breath a lot of the time, trying to see what would happen next.
S: And your third word?
C: Well-written. I thought the story flowed really well and always kept me on my toes.
S: True. I agree with that. So I think it is time to close this chapter of our lives and say good bye to the Menagerie and our friends Logan, Zoe, and Blue. How do you want to end this review Caramel!
C: By saying my usual words: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!