When Grubb, an orphan and runaway chimney sweep, entered the wondrous world of the Odditorium, his life changed forever. Apprenticed to the mechanical marvel’s strange proprietor, Alistair Grim, Grubb unfortunately must settle into his new position on the lam, as all of England is convinced that Alistair Grim is a villain. Grim, however, has come up with a plan to expose the real villain: Prince Nightshade, a wicked necromancer who wants the Odditorium’s power source for himself.
With the evil prince hot on their trail, Grim, Grubb and the rest of the Odditorium's crew embark on a perilous adventure to find the legendary sword Excalibur: the only weapon capable of penetrating Nightshade's suit of magical armor. As expected, their quest turns out to be anything but ordinary. Not only can the Odditorium fly, but it can also swim! And so the crew battens down the hatches and sets off on an underwater voyage to the otherworldly realm of Avalon, home to Excalibur. Along the way, they must battle a banshee assassin, sea monsters, and a witch who seeks revenge on Alistair Grim for stealing her magical objects.
But that’s not all. Unbeknownst to Grubb and the others, their fate has been written in an ancient Avalonian prophecy—a prophecy that holds the key to a destiny not even Alistair Grim could have imagined.
Another amazing cover from Su Blackwell and the team at Disney-Hyperion. Check out some photos of the process here.
For 12 year-old Grubb, life as a chimney sweep in the English countryside has always been hard. Apprenticed to a brutal master sweep named Mr. Smears, Grubb wants nothing more than a life free from toil and abuse. After incurring the wrath of a local innkeeper, Grubb stows away in a trunk belonging to one of the inn's guests. Soon, the boy finds himself at the Odditorium—a flying house of mechanical wonders filled with supernatural beings and powered by a mysterious blue energy called animus. The eccentric owner of the Odditorium, Alistair Grim, allows Grubb to stay on as his apprentice, but when Grubb accidentally allows some of the animus to escape, he attracts the attention of Prince Nightshade, an evil necromancer who wants the animus for himself. After an intense battle and a narrow escape from London, Grubb and his friends set off in the Odditorium to defeat Prince Nightshade, during which time Grubb discovers the real purpose of Alistair Grim’s animus—a purpose as strange and nefarious as the evil necromancer who seeks to control it.
How awesome is this cover? Su Blackwell, the artist commissioned by Disney to construct the paper model of the Odditorium, posted some pictures of the process on her blog. Click here to check it out. She truly is an amazing talent!