Title: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher Info / Release: Disney Hyperion / September 5, 2017
Source: E-ARC from NetGalley
Rating: 4 / 5 *’s
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.
From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?
I received this from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review! Read below for the review:
Where do I even start with this?? First off, this is the first time I’ve read Alexandra’s work. I own a couple of her other books but I just hadn’t been able to get into them. But now that I’ve finished Prosper, then I think I might be able to! And also, look at that cover! It’s just stunning, but honestly, pretty much every book that Alexandra wrote is beautiful. (I’m slightly obsessed with the Passenger and Wayfarer covers.)
Okay, so second thing – this book is so funny! I can’t begin to tell you how much I found myself laughing out loud at some of the dialogue between the characters Prosper and Alastor. The dynamic between the two really makes the book as it goes along. Here are some that Alex has posted herself:
Beslubbering knotty-pated maggot pie.
Okay – so plot. Prosper Redding is not a very popular member of his family and we find that out almost right off the bat in the book. But then things go sideways and Prosper quickly finds out that he has a demon (called a fiend in this book) stuck inside of him after some very scarring turn of events. Oh and it’s only the fiend that cursed his family. So…you know. Great mind company to keep.
Alastor is portrayed as a white fox (as shown on the cover) and it’s so cute. Honestly, Alex’s character building was great. There’s such a mix of characters and creatures that you can’t help but love them all, even if they’re supposed to be evil. Towards the middle / end of the book, a creature called the hob shows up and I just can’t even tell you how adorable I found it. Just read the book then come find me so we can discuss!
I don’t want to discuss the plot here too much because it could easily give away some of the things that happen. However, the writing is great! I wasn’t ever really bored while reading this but the slower parts I felt like were during Alastor’s few narrative chapters, though it still provided necessary information as the story went on. The story developed really well and I actually enjoyed seeing moments where Prosper and Alastor worked together but then I would feel a bit sad whenever they went back to clashing.
Even though I am not a middle grader anymore, I really felt a connection with Prosper. The hurt and confusion he feels comes through very well. You can tell that he just has a great heart for his age. Even all the emotions that Alastor feels shines through. This was an easy and quick read, even though it took me a little while to finish it but only because personal life getting in the way!
Ultimately, I would recommend this to anyone who loves Halloween and just loves a good story. The ending completely threw me off and I wasn’t expecting any of it! I’m really curious as to where Bracken will take the story and I can’t wait to find out.
Thank you to Disney Hyperion for letting me read this E-ARC. I really enjoyed it!
Happy Reading!! Let me know below if you read it and what you thought.