The Missing Book: A Tale of the Oddworld by Mathew Bishop

 Disclaimer: Even though I did work on the cover for this novel as an illustrator, all of my opinions shown in this review are completely honest as always.

The Oddworld. Flying throughout space on the back of a chessboard, held aloft by four mystical piles of books. Home to wizards, demons and magic. Each one odder than the last.
In the Arcane University, centre of wizardry on the Oddworld, something terrible has happened. A book is missing. And we all know what that means. Something is afoot. And not the kind of something people want to be afoot. Something dark and sinister. After all why else would be a book be missing?

Straight away this book struck me as something different, something that defied genre pigeon-holing and something that stands on its own. Though the writing style could be compared to the likes of Terry Pratchett, the humour and world-building is so cleverly done that you get completely sucked into the story.

The characters, although new with this first Oddworld book, are almost familiar in the way they are painted throughout the novel. Old school masters (that are wizards), a strict librarian (that also happens to be a badger) and the short sidekick to the villain (that just so happens to have magenta skin) are amongst the colourful cast of characters that beautifully support the comedic elements of the plot as well as the drama.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy and humour in their books. Fans of Terry Pratchett – this is definitely one for you, but it would also be a fun novel for anyone starting out in fantasy because it is on the shorter side at only 216 pages. A fun read for all ages and I’m looking forward to reading the next one!

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