Grim and Grimmer, by Ian Irvine

Why couldn’t Ike have kept his mouth shut?
Things were going to get really bad anyway, about as bad as things can get. But if only he had kept silent, Ike would not have had to poke an imp’s brain back in through its ear hole with his finger.
He would not have gone blind, then been carried by an enraged demon called Spleen, upside down and with his bum hanging out, all the way across Grimmery.
He would not have been turned into a night-gaunt, the creature he feared more than anything in the world. Nor would he – it – have attacked his best friend.
And most definitely, he would not have died.
Oh, yes, Ike dies in this story.
He’s dead as a doughnut at one stage.

Ike and his friend, Mellie, are escorting the rescued Princess Aurora back to Ambra, capital of Grimmery, so she can take her place on the throne and thwart the evil Fey Queen who wants to take over her country. Ike’s feeling good, anticipating their warm reception, and daydreaming about the Princess. Unfortunately the Princess doesn’t share his daydream and a good day suddenly turns very sour. The Princess abandons her escort and a demon appears. Far from being over, their adventure is just beginning. Evil is all around and Ike and Mellie are going to have to travel far and do many brave deeds if they are to help Princess Aurora and their country. They must unite to find the Book of Grimmery. If only they could stop insulting each other.

Grim and Grimmer 2: The Grasping Goblin takes the two reluctant heroes on a very wild ride. As the title suggests, every time it seems things are as grim as they can get, they get grimmer. But not without humour. The Grasping Goblin is very funny too, as well as dangerous, gory and grotty. It makes particularly good use of smell, and makes this reader very glad that the novel is not ‘scratch-and-smell’. Ike and Mellie have to work together to achieve success and their bravery and ingenuity see-saw in their pursuit of secret spells. Allies and foes take all shapes and colours and often it’s hard to tell which is which. Grim and Grimmer 2: The Grasping Goblin is a grand adventure and it’s not over yet. Look out for the next title in this series. Recommended for mid- to upper-primary readers.

Grim and Grimmer 2: The Grasping Goblin, Ian Irvine
Omnibus Books 2010
ISBN: 9781862918597

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author