Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer Reading 2016 The Ominous Eye: The Nocturnals Book 2

In their first appearance (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. Although the brigade solved the abductions, there are still plenty of dangers for them to face. In their latest book, they try to find out what is causing the ground to shake, giant cracks to form, and ash to fall from the sky. (Any guesses?) They meet a lizard named Polyphema who claims that there is a great beast who is shaking the ground and that he wants all the animals to leave the area. Polyphema is a tuatara, a type of lizard with a third eye (seen while they are young hatchlings, then eventually covered with scales). She claims that she can see the future with this special eye and that if the animals do not leave their homes, there will be terrible consequences. Should the brigade trust her and talk the animals into leaving? Or is there something more going on, as Dawn suspects?

The Nocturnals features a wide variety of nocturnal animals - foxes,sugar gliders, bats, pangolins, owls, tuatura, jerboas, and kiwis. 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 absolumentma cherieamigos, 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 try to find a way to protect everyone from "the beast."

Readers who enjoy animal adventures such as The Guardians of Ga'Hoole may have a new series to add to their bookshelves. The Ominous Eye is the second book in the series and The Mysterious Abductions was the first featuring the Nocturnal Brigade. It is fun to see the relationships between the friends continue to develop. Bismarck teases Tobin about releasing his defensive scent every time he is scared, Dawn continues to roll her eyes at Bismarck's outrageous flirting, and Tobin wants everyone to get along.  There is a website for readers and educators with plenty of resources at

I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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