From Amazon: Meet the wonderfully weird Otherhand family and their faithful guardian, Edgar the raven, and discover the dark secrets of Castle Otherhand. Edgar is alarmed when he sees a nasty looking black tail slinking under the castle walls. But his warnings to the inhabitants of the castle go unheeded, and as the lower storeys of the castle begin mysteriously to flood, and kitchen maids continue to go missing, the family come ever closer to the owner of the black tail...
Flood and Fang is one big bundle of fun from start to finish, and it's my new favourite book in the 8-12 age range. I've lost count of how many times I had to put it down because I was laughing so much, but lets just say it was a lot!
The Raven Mysteries is narrated by Edgar, an old raven watching over the mismatched Otherhand family. His thoughts are blunt and hilarious, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his observations on life in the castle. His open hatred of little Cudweed's pet monkey, Fellah, is a constant source of humour, as is his distaste for toddler twins Buzz and Fizz.
The odd characters and gothic setting is reminiscent of The Addams Family, with children Solstice and Cudweed being like modern day incarnations of Wednesday and Pugsley. I was an Addams Family fan when I was younger, and I think this is one of the reasons why I loved Flood and Fang so much -- there's something endearing about absurd but comical characters, and Marcus Sedgwick has created a whole lovable family of them. The illustrations accompanying the text, drawn by Pete Williamson, are also fantastic. They capture the Otherhand family perfectly, and compliment the story more than I thought they would.
Although Flood and Fang isn't aimed at my age group, I absolutely loved it. I read it very quickly in one sitting, and started book two (Ghosts and Gadgets) straight away. I laughed my head off for the majority of the book, and completely lost myself in the crazy world of Edgar and the castle's inhabitants. Whether you're 12 or 22, this book is a pleasure to read, and deserves to be a huge seller in the 8-12 section. I can't wait for Lunatics and Luck to be released next year, and I'll definitely be rushing out to buy a copy.