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Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori
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Pure Dead Magic

by Debi Gliori

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ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Titus and his sister Pandora have another new nanny. It’s hard to keep nannies around the Strega-Borgia mansion, but despite the siblings’ best efforts to scare off the latest applicant, Mrs. McLachlan is undaunted. She’ll be taking care of the kids and their scary pets because their dad, Signor Luciano Strega-Borgia, has abandoned the family and their mom, Signora Baci Strega-Borgia, has started witch school.

The Strega-Borgia kids soon turn their attention to more difficult issues when their baby sister Damp is accidentally shrunken and uploaded into the World Wide Web. Soon after, a group of assassins hired by the mafia shows up at their house. Can Titus and Pandora get Damp back and defeat the killers, too?

Pure Dead Magic is the first in a series of children’s fantasy novels by Debi Gliori. It’s dark, zany, and over the top. Inside you’ll find a tarantula who wears lipstick, a dragon with diarrhea, an assassin who wears a bunny suit, a crocodile who eats nannies, a grandmother in the freezer, and a smelly baby whose diaper always needs changing. It’s all rather dark and silly in the vein of the Home Alone movies.

Pure Dead Magic is fun, but if you insist on your plots making sense or your villains being smart, don’t bother. The nonsensical plot was fine with me until the villain ordered his captive to spend hours unattended fixing a room full of computers with Internet access. I would have preferred a little more care with the plotting.

Debi Gliori’s writing style is often clever, but self-consciously so. Its constant attempts to be funny will probably weary some readers, but it worked pretty well in the audio version I listened to by Recorded Books (please note that there is more than one audio version). The way that Ron Keith’s uppercrust accent acted as a foil for the perpetual silliness actually added to the whimsy. If you’re going to read Pure Dead Magic, audio is definitely the way to go. It’s a quick fun read for kids who like a silly plot with a streak of black humor. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
I needed something lighter than Harry Potter, but not as dark as Lemony Snicket and lo and behold, Pure Dead Magic happened upon my desk. A fan of Deb Gliori's picture books, I thought I'd give it a go. This wickedly funny chapter book for the tween age group provides mystical fun for young goths. Full of puns and word play, the fast paced, entertaining story will keep readers going and hungry for the others in this series. The cast of characters alone are intriguing, including the three kids, newly hired nanny, and frozen grandma in the basement. Pick it up today and invite the Strega-Borgia family into your home! ( )
  DiamondDog | Mar 29, 2013 |
Isä Strega-Borgian on kaapannut isän velipuoli Lucifer. Äiti Strega-Borgia palkkaa lapsilleen Titukselle, Pandoralle ja Lirulle lastenhoitajan rouva Flora McLachlanin. Seikkailu on valmis alkamaan, kun Pandora päästää rottansa Moninaisen poikasineen vapaaksi. Poikaset menevät Tituksen tietokoneeseen Lirun koneen CD-asemalle syöttämien pekoninreunojen perässä.

Samaan aikaan Lucifer yrittää saada isä Strega-Borgiaa allekirjoittamaan testamentin, jossa jättää omaisuutensa velipuolelleen, pyytää tätä auttamaan tietokoneongelmien kanssa ja lähettää palkkamurhaajansa Pronton tekemään selvää muusta Strega-Borgian perheestä.

Muuta: Näissä kirjoissa on jotain joka viehättää jo ihan esineenä. Kannet ovat kauniit, yksinkertaiset ja samettipintaiset - ei tosin kirjaston muovitetut kappaleet. Nimet ovat samalla kiinnostavia ja hauskoja. Ystäväni suositukseta vihdoin uskalsin tarttua näihin ja kyllä kannatti. Kirja oli todella hauska. Ainoana miinuksena pieni kömpelyys kielessä silloin tällöin. ( )
  Dei_Diamanda | Apr 15, 2011 |
When their father is kidnapped and danger looms, the Strega-Borgia children, their mysterious new nanny, and a giant tarantula use magic and actual trips through the Internet to bring peace to their Scottish castle.
  211Fern | Mar 4, 2011 |
Chaotic is one word to really describe this book. Although it was fun to read what they all go through I think this book would have made a very interesting movie (should it ever go that way). Think of The Addams Family and their kookiness, mixed with a bit of style of Lemony Snicket and add in a bit of Mary Poppins and you get Pure Dead Magic. I enjoyed reading this book! it was a fun light read and there were particular parts of the book that actually got me laughing out loud. It is quirky and kooky and you could say even rather strange at first to read but once you get engaged into the storyline then the reading experience is quite fun.

The plot was certainly engaging, and by reading the first page it actually takes you into the book head first so be prepared. I liked it, yet on the other hand, I found it a little too engaging. It just seems like there's just way too much going on and you have a hard time figuring out what's happening, and it also feels like you need to take a real big deep breath right after each chapter. Sometimes it helps if there's a small part in the book where everything just take a breather, and the action takes a break while we as readers sort things out with the storyline. The characters are likable and fun, no need for development, or any heavy duty stuff here. Like mentioned before, it's a light read to take a break from the heavy duty ones.

Overall, a fast, light read, with a lot of room left at the end for several more books ahead. I'll be picking them up whenever I need the urge to laugh or when I need to take a break from the heavier deeper books. Sometimes it's good to read childrens novels just to take a break from the serious books and to enjoy the quirky kooky funny ones as well. ( )
  sensitivemuse | Dec 23, 2009 |
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From an upstairs window peered three pairs of eyes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440418496, Paperback)

Welcome to StregaSchloss, the ancestral castle of the Scottish clan Strega-Borgia. Ignore the sign at the gate that reads, "Warning! Trespassers will be (a) served for breakfast, (b) turned into frogs, (c) forced to eat Brussels sprouts." Cross over the drawbridge, try not to get eaten by the crocodile in the moat, ring the bell, and don't flinch when the butler, Latch, drags open the heavy door and intones "You rang?" Meet the inhabitants: Titus, 12; his sister Pandora, 10; the baby, Damp; their Mary Poppins-like nanny, Mrs. McLachlan; the grim housemaid, Marie Bain; and down in the dungeon, the large untidy house pets--a yeti, a griffin, and a dragon. Signora Strega-Borgia is away at her witchcraft class; Signor Strega-Borgia has been kidnapped by his evil brother, and at the bottom of the freezer in the wine cellar is the ancestral grandmother, Strega-Nonna, wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil, waiting for a cure for old age to be discovered. Now get ready for some of the most deliciously bizarre and hilarious goings-on ever to grace a cyber-gothic-gangster fantasy. Pandora accidentally shrinks Damp with her mother's Disposawand and the tiny baby crawls into the computer modem and is whisked away into cyberspace; some spectacularly inefficient gangsters (including one in a rabbit suit) arrive and are up to no good; Titus sends his pet spider, Tarantella, into the Internet (mother of all webs) to find Damp; and Mrs. McLachlan comes to everybody's rescue in an uproarious finale to the most original fantasy in years. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:57 -0400)

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When their father is kidnapped and danger looms, the Strega-Borgia children, their mysterious new nanny, and a giant tarantula use magic and actual trips through the Internet to bring peace to their Scottish castle.

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