Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 2, 2023 by Crystal Uys
I’m not a huge fan of reading Fantasy, nor do I generally read middle grade novels, so Chermpf* by William S. Russell III was a bit of a stretch for me, and I’ll be honest, the only reason I even picked it up was because the pitch email from the author’s wife was so lovely, I had to at least give it a try. And I have to say, I’m glad I did.
From the publisher:
Everyone should have a name; with that thought Gracie Fisher steps into her backyard on a moonlit summer night. Leaving her sleeping parents behind, following her nervous cat Roscoe and a kitten harboring an ancient secret, she embarks on an adventure leading far beyond her father’s vegetable garden, to a domed forest-city tethered to the Moon. There, she faces a terrible danger from the prehistoric past and a grave threat to all humanity.
It may sound a bit odd, but the best way to describe the effect this book had on me is that it was almost like it put a spell on me. This first in the Cats of Nova Series is so beautifully written, the writing is almost lyrical at times. The multi-layered story contains valuable lessons for children, but there is so much depth to the book that I found some of the lessons ageless. I’m not sure whether the author intended this, but it made me enjoy the book even more, and perhaps that’s why I felt a sense of magic as I kept turning the pages despite thinking “this really isn’t my kind of book.”
The cat characters are wonderful, from Roscoe, who is always afraid of getting into trouble to Mimyat, a high-energy tuxedo cat who “sounds” like she’s on speed when she’s talking. The fact that I could actually hear Mimyat is yet another testament to the author’s descriptive writing style. In a lot of ways, this book reminded me of Philip Pullman’s masterful fantasy adventure The Golden Compass*. Both books are aimed at children but contain a whole different layer that is most definitely better appreciated by adults. Fans of Erin Hunter’s Warriors series will enjoy this book as well.
If you’re looking for something a little different, give Chermpf a try. You may look at your cats in a whole new light, wondering whether perhaps they know more about the workings of the universe than you’d think.
*FTC Disclosures: This post contains Amazon Associate links This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.
I received a copy of this book from the author. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.