Mort the Meek is back! I loved the first Mort book when I read it last year – Mort the Meek and the Raven’s Revenge – see my review here, and so I jumped on the chance to request book two when it came out. This is more of the same macabre kids humour combined with wonderful illustrations and quirky narration, so just a gem all around.
Many thanks to Little Tiger for sending me a review copy, all opinions are my own.
RELEASE DATE: 06/01/2022
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: Around the unfriendly, rocky island of Brutalia, the waves are awash with brave sea-farers, on a treasure hunt for their demanding queen. Among them is Mort, but rather than hunt for treasure, he’s more interested in looking for his family who are lost at sea. Unfortunately, his shipmate Punky has her eyes firmly on the prize.
But when the pair find the tentacle of a mythical sea creature, their adventure takes a dramatic turn. Is this the prize-winning treasure Punky and the queen seek? Or could it be a monstrous twist in Mort’s rescue mission? (from Little Tiger)
OPINIONS: I just love these books. They remind me a bit of A Series of Unfortunate Events aimed at a slightly younger audience – and less realistic. This is again narrated by animals explaining words and sarcastically talking about what is going on – sea creatures this time. The focus on lexicon and new vocabulary is one of my favourite aspects, and something I know I would have absolutely adored as a child as well. Set on the island of Brutalia, this second installment takes place quite a bit of time after the first, with enough time having past for Mort’s father and siblings to have gone lost at sea. Their terrible queen has decided that she is now going to be a god queen – and thus asks her citizens to go out and quest to be named half-gods.
Mort joins this expedition – not because he wants to be a half-god, but because he wants to find his missing family. On the way, he is paired up with the infuriating Punky, who has a soft core beneath her hard exterior, loses his pacifist ways and accidentally becomes a fish god. In the end, he has to find back to his pacifist roots to find a solution to Brutalia’s problems after receiving help from unexpected allies. Again, the story focuses on how ultimately issues can be solved through thinking and talking rather than violence, which I think is a wonderful message, and one that is very important to drill into the audience’s heads at that age.
I think these books are probably best aimed at young readers aged seven to nine, though my adult self still enjoyed it a lot. Join Mort on his adventures by adding Mort the Meek and the Monstrous Quest to your Goodreads here, and ordering a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).