Imagine life as a nocturnal animal, sleeping by day and active by night. How different the world would be if you only saw it in shadows and silvery moonlight. What would you do if suddenly other animals started disappearing? Perhaps you hear rumors, a faint call for help, or even the sound of a scuffle. Who could be doing this and why? That is what happens to the characters in The Mysterious Abductions. Three very different animals - Tobin the pangolin, Bismarck the sugar glider, and Dawn the fox- work together to save themselves from a hungry snake on the very first night they meet. That success leads to the formation of the Nocturnal Brigade, with the three new friends ready to help others. And the brigade is formed just in time, because animal after animal is disappearing from the area near the river and no one knows who is taking them or why. Following the trail of missing animals, the brigade must face hungry crocodiles, swiftly flowing rivers, sharp rocks, and even sonar-addled bats. Will they be able to find the missing animals and return them to their families?
The Nocturnals features a wide variety of nocturnal animals - foxes, coyotes, sugar gliders, bats, pangolins, wombats, crocodiles, jerboas, kiwis, and tarantulas. It also features some wonderful vocabulary, especially from Bismarck (the sugar glider). He wants so much to impress everyone, even though he is such a small creature, that he uses very large words such as stupefying, precarious, and tardiness. Along with the extra-large words, he also sprinkles words and phrases from other languages into the conversation like absolument, ma cherie, amigos, and mio amore. Tobin is impressed by him, but Dawn sees through the theatrics and just gives him a look or a sigh to show that she isn't falling for his charm. The relationship between the three friends and the other animals has many humorous moments, even while they are on their mission to find and rescue the missing creatures.
Readers who enjoy animal adventures such as The Guardians of Ga'Hoole may have a new series to add to their bookshelves. The Mysterious Abductions is merely the first book featuring the Nocturnal Brigade, and there will be plenty more danger and laughter for the friends to share. There is a website for readers and educators with plenty of resources at https://www.nocturnalsworld.com/.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.