Illustrations by: Richard Titus
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Humorous
Publisher: Voyages Imaginaires (self-published)
Date of Release: July 14, 2014
Pages: 145 (eBook, PDF)
My Rating: ★★★
“King Norr was not content. He longed to know the world beyond his tiny, island kingdom of Nibb. The Nibbians, however, were not a seafaring people and had no desire to travel elsewhere. Why bother, they said. What could be as perfect as Nibb?
Even so, Norr watched foreign ships come and go. They approached, hesitated, then sailed away without ever coming ashore. Why was that? And that wasn’t the only mystery.
Who was the prankster who had set the palace afloat?
Was there a sea monster skulking the waters along shore?
Who was the little girl who sang but would not speak?
Had the Minister of Science been eaten by migrating drumbkins?
This was not the average Nibbian day. King Norr was unprepared and only hoped to get through it with as few “haddocks” as possible.
Set sail on this armchair adventure of wit and riddle. It’s an imaginative voyage to a paradise at the end of the world whose only flaw is being a little too perfect — or, at least, it was until today.”
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
What I liked
The island of Nibb is filled with many whimsical characters from the unusual Yill to Pearl, the mysterious child, to King Norr who dreams of exploring beyond Nibb.
I think my most favourite character was Yill. He had this knack of annoying every person he encountered. However he had this air of “yup, just don’t care” about him. He was wholesome and entirely curious with a large smattering of humour.
“My parents only wanted one thing for me,” Yill shared, “-survive marauding gulls.”
This book is filled with fantastic illustrations that which Mr. Titus designed himself. It was well put together for that. The provided glossary for the made up words was a nice touch as well.
What I didn’t like
I did have some issues with the story however.
Some of the words were rather grandiloquent. The intended audience can shift from children to young adults, however the extravagant wording is a bit much for the age bracket. Even some adults would struggle with some of the word choices. But who knows, it might encourage some kiddo’s to seek the words out in the dictionary. I’m all for that!
Another issue is that the story, while interesting, lacked detail. It took me a while to understand what creature Yill was and that Nibbians were, in fact, human.
I also struggled with the pace of the story. It was a bit jumpy, in the sense that it starts randomly and stops. Dramatic scene changes with little warning made this novel a bit of a roller coaster of a read. The conversations were also difficult to follow, in many cases.
Despite some issues, I do feel that Mr. Titus does give Dr. Seuss a run for his money in the creativity department. Nibb is an interesting world and the characters were unique.
I would recommend this book to children up to young adults, for sure.
Cross posted to Good Reads
Meet the Author:
The Gift of the Quoxxel is Richard’s debut novel. His life experience includes illustration, graphic design, art direction, oil painting, military service, and mastery of an adequate meatloaf.
Richard’s fine art oil paintings appear in several galleries and exhibition venues in the New York City area.
A Michigan native and parochial school survivor, Richard currently resides with wife Marina just close enough to Manhattan that he often wonders how-in-the-heck they got there.