Things are not as they should be in Pennywhistle. Enchanted toasters are not toasting, enchanted sprinklers are not sprinkling and Hobart Hucklebuck’s origami messenger birds are suddenly attacking him. Someone seems to be draining the power from all of the enchanted items in the village. But who could it be and why have they implicated Hobart’s grandfather? “The Misadventures of Hobart Hucklebuck” follows Hobart and his friends, Specks Spacklethack and Rosie Rumpleskirt, as they try to solve this mystery and free Hobart’s grandfather from the Tower of Tribulation on Mumblemonk Mountain. The trio’s investigation into the mysterious happenings on Druid Lane gets them into hot water more than once and ultimately brings them dangerously close to disaster not only for themselves, but the entire village of Pennywhistle.
The Misadventures of Hobart Hucklebuck: Magic and Mayhem by Stan Swanson is an action adventure magical story target for a young audience. It is published by Curiosity Quills Press.
When I first started reading Hobart Hucklebuck the first thing that really came to my mind was all of the aliteration. Hobart Hucklebuck, Rosie Rumpleskirt, and Specks Spacklethack are just some of the names with aliteration. Every name, from the food to the cat breeds, are in aliteration. It was fun seeing all of the interesting new words to come from that and it definitely shows creativity. I don’t know how someone is able to think of so many alliterations, but somehow Mr. Swanson was able to do that.
The story is fast paced and filled with humor. I could see the children working towards saving Hobart’s grandfather and getting themselves into trouble in the process. The way I would describe this book is a very light hearted fantasy with children showing gumption, but still being kids. It reminds me a bit of the first Harry Potter film. The film was a bit kiddie and had all the elements of a good children’s movie. Of course, that series went darker, but I don’t see Hobart’s world of magic going darker than it already is.
The magic is interesting, but doesn’t have much explained. There is enough explained to give the reader hints at what will happen in the conclusion, but nothing in the sense of this spell does this or this spell does that. However, the fact that magic isn’t explained is explained. The children are still too young to really delve into the magical arts and there are a lot of politics going on that could prevent further magic using. I like that Swanson had added adult elements so that parents could enjoy the book with their children or the children won’t be left feeling too young. Children know what is going on in the world and Swanson shows that by having his characters know things are happening, but they just don’t know why.
This is a fun book for both adults and children. I very much enjoyed it.
Stan Swanson is a Bram Stoker award finalist and author of eight books including Forever Zombie (a collection of short stories), Write of the Living Dead (a highly-praised writing guide written with Araminta Star Matthews and Rachel Lee) and Return of the Scream Queen (co-authored with Michael McCarty and Linnea Quigley). He is also editor/publisher for Dark Moon Books and Dark Moon Digest. Upcoming titles include Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead (the first book in a young adult horror series co-written with Araminta Star Matthews), Dead Sparrows (a collection of apocalyptic poetry) and The Methlands (a horror novel co-written with award-winning author Joe McKinney).