Dust & Grim

Little, Brown. Oct. 2021. 384p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316706230.
Gr 5-8–The supernatural realm meets a cosplayer teen in this middle grade novel. Thirteen-year-old Molly Grim, lover of all things cosplay and pop culture, is being reunited with Dustin, the estranged older brother she didn’t know about after they both become orphaned. Her deadbeat dad never mentioned him or her mother, but Molly will soon discover the family estate and business is that of mortuary services for monsters, including a cemetery. Though neither sibling knew of the other’s existence, the pair will have to band together as well as join other supernatural beings to defeat a powerful magic devourer who is threatening not only their business but their lives. The story is fast paced and combines the reality of a teen with fantasy worlds, but at times it seems that the author tried to accomplish too much in one book. There’s more than one weak spot in the plot, but those can be overlooked if the reader is invested in the very interesting and long battle scenes. A blend of horror, spooky, funny, pop culture, cosplay, and sibling rivalry make this a suitable, if ambitious, read.
VERDICT Good for collections where supernatural and adventurous fantasy circulate well.

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