The Sea of Terror

S. & S.Audio. (Once Upon a Tim: Bk. 3). May 2023. 225p. $14.99. ISBN 9781797158198.
Gr 2-5–Frazier has always been bestselling Gibbs’s voice-of-choice, either solo or in aural cahoots with others. Consistency is especially key here, as Frazier energetically returns with Gulley, Hakimi, and Issaq to enliven the third volume of “Once Upon a Tim,” Gibb’s graphic hybrid series comprised of prose, pictures, and panels. To read the volumes in order predictably provides deeper engagement, but Gibbs’s swashbuckling antics (with clever nods to Odyssean exploits) offer plenty of stand-alone thrills and chills (bargleboar snot, the Mystical Protective Amulet of Merryland, “loose”—as in decapitated—hydra heads) into which the sprightly cast infuses plenty of just plain fun. Gibbs, of course, doesn’t skimp on his edifying “IQ boosters,” using plenty of big words—defined and annotated!—such as harangue, fleece (because it has multiple meanings), ravenous, bellicosely, and that dreaded cliff-hanger, which is how he ends the book. “This is good news,” he insists, “because it means there are many more adventures for you to enjoy about [Tim] and [his] friends.”
VERDICT All formats of the series (the fourth book hits November 7) are perfect for reluctant readers.

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