Title: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Fantasy
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“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”
Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.
The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.
Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.
I was so excited to read this one. The plot seemed interesting and I was curious to see how far they were going to go with demonic possession in a middle-grade fantasy book. I was not disappointed, this book was a lot of fun. There were some twists and turns that took me off guard and I’m so excited to see where the story leads in the sequel.
Prosper was a likable main character, although he came off as smug at times. Alastor (the fiend/demon) was super smug and arrogant, but it worked for the character. I got some slight season 7 Castile vibes from him (for my Supernatural fans out there). The author does a great job developing these characters to be more than cut outs or stereotypes of things we’ve seen before.
By far my favorite part of this book though was the actual plot. It’s a basic “rid yourself of the demon” plot, but has some fun twists. Without giving anything away, this story definitely plays with the reader’s expectations. There were some things that happened in the third act of the story that has set up for a great sequel. This book is coming out in September, and younger readers will love the spooky atmosphere of this one around Halloween.
My main issue with this book is that while this book was enjoyable, the plot is also forgettable. I had a lot of fun reading it, but I actually had to go back to my notes to write this review. I read it about a week ago and had trouble remembering some specifics of this story.
This is one of those middle-grade books that is catered to younger readers but will be fun for older readers. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding was a spooky, atmospheric read that is the perfect start to the Halloween season. The plot is rich with a compelling story and isn’t afraid to play with the reader’s expectations. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes this story.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4/5 Stars