Oddity by Eli Brown – Book Review

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Oddity by Eli Brown – Book Review

Oddity

Author – Eli Brown
Publisher – Walker Books
Pages – 368
Released – 5th August 2021
ISBN-13 – 978-1406389272
Format – ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.

Synopsis

The daughter of a murdered physician vows to protect the magical Oddity he left behind – if only she knew what it was – in an alternate nineteenth century in which the United States is at war with Napoleon’s France.

When her physician father is murdered, thirteen-year-old Clover Elkin embarks on a perilous mission through warring frontier territories to protect the one secret Oddity he left behind. And as she uncovers the truth about her parents and her past, Clover herself emerges as a powerful agent of history.

Review by Stacey

Oddity is just as the title states, it is an odd little book. Set in an alternative historical world where the USA and Napoleon France are at war, the book follows teenager Clover Elkin who has been helping her physician father with his patients.

On their return from delivering a baby, the pair are caught off guard by a group of men who want something from Clover’s father. Her father hands her his physician’s bag telling her there is an oddity inside and to get to New Manchester and find a man called Aaron Agate he will protect her and the oddities before pushing her off a bridge into the water below. It is then that she hears a gunshot and sees her father slump.

The men want Clover and try to track her but Clover is a smart and resourceful young woman, but how long can she keep ahead of them and what do they want with her?

This YA book is adventurous and gripping for most of the way through. It is also very strange with a talking Rooster, a witch, a man with bunny ears, and a secret-stealing hat. The title refers to items that are very rare and have special powers such as a teapot that you can pour endless cups of tea from.

The book is told in three parts, there is also a list of the Oddity items at the back of the book. I enjoyed the read. I like books that are different and unusual and this book certainly fits those categories.

Clover is a likeable character, yes sometimes I thought she needed to be a little braver and daring but then I’d remember she is only thirteen, newly alone in the world, just witnessed her father murder in front of her and double-crossed by someone she trusted. She has had it tough and warrants not being brave all the time.

For those that like a magical/fantasy element to their reads, this is the book to pick up. It has a great plot with numerous secondary plots running parallel. It is wacky, surprising, and good fun.

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Author Info

Eli Brown’s middle-grade novel, ODDITY, is a gritty alternate historical fantasy. It features a Pistol that cannot miss, a Tea Pot containing an ocean of chamomile, and a thirteen-year-old surgeon’s daughter in search of dangerous family secrets.

Brown’s culinary pirate novel, CINNAMON AND GUNPOWDER, was a finalist for the California Book Award, a San Francisco Public Library One-City One-Book selection, and an NPR Book Review Staff Pick.

Brown’s first novel, THE GREAT DAYS (Boaz Publications), won the Fabri Prize for Literature.

A Yaddo fellow and featured reader at Litquake, Brown earned his MFA from Mills college. He lives with his family in Northern California where the squirrels bury acorns in his garden and cats bury worse.

What did you think of ‘Oddity’? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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