- Source: Review Copy
- Pages: 260
- Publisher: Raven Above Press
- Publication Date: 16 February 2020
- My Rating: 4 stars
“What are the people like where we are going?” Orphie asked, taking her place beside her father, where she had the best view.
Otis looked back in surprise. “They are a little upside down, but they are no different from us. They want the same things.”
“What’s that, father?”
“A slow death, a full restraint and the pursuit of tireless misery.”
The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain by Lorin Morgan-Richards starts with an absolutely lovely foreword. It resembled the ones that are found in children’s classic books. It made me feel like I was a child about to embark on an adventure. As it turns out, I wasn’t disappointed. This book was an adventure. A somewhat crazy, but mostly good one.
The Goodbye family is an eccentric bunch. Their family business is taking care of dead people. Apparently their little daughter Orphie has very strong bones which makes her a potentially perfect fit for becoming a gravedigger in the future. There is mayhem in the town when a tonic called Chthonic is circulated that brings dead people back to life, making them very fierce and savage. Between all this craziness, the Goodbye family is also struggling to pay their rent.
The Goodbyes are a little strange to say the least. Otis endearingly called his wife ‘my bat’ sometimes. They enjoyed the company of bugs and rodents in their house when the rain brought them. Their kids were not far off from being a little strange themselves, as one of them was always hiding somewhere in the house.
They also had the tendency to crack the most hilarious jokes in the most dangerous situations. Basically, there wasn’t much that they took seriously. While I know that’s not realistic, it was a lot of fun reading about their reactions in such situations.
In all honesty, this book is quite weird, but that’s what makes it good. It is also very subtly hilarious. The author created character names by using common words, for example, Mrs. Everyday and Grandmother Yeast. I found this incredibly amusing.
The humor in the book is on point. The Illustrations are to die for. I couldn’t stop marvelling at them as the story unfolded. Some parts of the book are quite gory and gruesome, so one should keep that in mind before it.
The author has a distinct quirky writing style that makes this story stand out, and might make his future books stand out as well if he writes in the same style.
A few times in the book, I did get confused as to what exactly was happening. The narrative deviates from the main plot many times. While I was enjoying reading it, it did feel like the author was trying to make the story too weird and because of that, it started to make less sense. This book is a good fit for children, but it may be too confusing for them.
Overall, reading this book was a very enjoyable experience. This is a very refreshing book as far as the children’s fantasy genre goes. I believe fans of Roald Dahl may like this. I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t mind taking a risk when it comes to books. If you’re looking for something unique and refreshing, pick up this book.