In Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews, Halloween has come to Caerphilly. The whole town is having a giant festival, family- friendly in the daytime and creepy in the night. Though hearing that someone has tried to break into the haunted house at Dr. Smoot’s home, Meg decides to go first to the zoo with her twin sons’ first grade class. While she is there, her grandfather, the owner of the zoo, gets word that the lions have eaten a tourist, only for the pair to discover that someone has thrown a fake arm, not a real person, into the pit. Then, in the alligator habitat, the first graders spot an arm among the gators, scaring some and exciting the more ghoulish. Catching the college student who threw the arm in, Meg and Michael hear the young man say that he is on an adventure or a quest, and the police find a paper with 5 tasks on it in his pocket. The tasks include breaking into the zoo and scaring someone with a fake body part. Then, just as the police take away the young man, two members of the “Goblin Patrol,” the volunteer security force, report that they have found a real body this time. Near the man is part of another set of tasks.
Meg gets involved in trying to figure out this quest, enlisting the help of her brother’s computer game company, Mutant Wizards. Law enforcement comes to suspect that someone is using this quest to cover up some other crime. They think it probably is somehow connected to the break ins at the new museum about Caerphilly history that Dr. Smoot is trying to create. But they need to figure out what this involvement could be.
Lord of the Wings has a highly creative plot and a very descriptive setting. The background of the Halloween festival adds much flavor and fun to the book. I enjoyed the way 6- year- old Josh and Jamie insist on wearing a unique costume each day of the week and how Meg’s dad gets a team from Mutant Wizards to make fancy robot and alien costumes for the boys. I loved getting to spend time with old friends from Caerphilly, from the Langslows and Waterstones to Ms. Ellie, the librarian, and Dr. Smoot, the former medical examiner- turned- vampire impersonator. It was also fun to meet the ebullient Ragnar Ragnarson, the aging former heavy metal drummer, who is turning his mansion into a gothic castle.
I highly appreciated the performance of Bernadette Dunne in the audio edition of this book. As usual, she uses realistic voices and lively expression that makes the book easy to visualize as she performs it. This audiobook is a great deal of fun to listen to.
I thoroughly loved the experience of listening to Lord of the Wings. I love all of the Meg Langslow books and can’t think of a single one that doesn’t deserve five stars, but this book is one that particularly stands out. Besides having such a great plot and many humorous moments, it had an especially satisfying conclusion. I give this book five stars.
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