Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book review: Alligators Overhead by C. Lee McKenzie

Happy weekend, all. I am having a very lazy one so far. I watched four back-to-back movies with my kiddo today. My eyes are about to roll back in my head. That's what weekends are for, right?

Today, I'll review Alligators Overhead by C. Lee McKenzie. I stumbled upon it while I was clicking around the Bookblogs site, which led me to the author's facebook page and straight into the book's link on Amazon. The synopsis intrigued me, so here I am.

Synopsis: Alligators, witches and a spooky mansion aren't your average neighbors unless you live at the edge of the Ornofree swamp in the backwater town of Hadleyville. The town’s bad boy, Pete Riley, may only be twelve, but he’s up to his eyeballs in big trouble, and this time he isn’t the cause. This time the trouble arrives when a legendary hundred-year-old mansion, materializes next door and the Ornofree alligators declare war to save their swamp from bulldozers. Things only get worse when Pete’s guardian aunt and several of her close friends vanish while trying to restore order using outdated witchcraft. Now Pete must find his aunt and stop the war. He might stand a chance if his one friend, Weasel, sticks with him, but even then, they may not have what it takes.

I have so many books to read and review. When I woke up this morning, I chose this one because I was in a YA reading mood. I downloaded it for fun last week after seeing the offer on the author's facebook page. I read this book in six hours. It was an absolutely adorable story and lots of fun. 

Pete Riley, the young bad boy of Hadleyville, stumbles upon an unbelievable find one day when he bolted to his usual meeting spot, an empty lot next door to his aunt's house (where he's lived since the death of his parents), to meet his buddy Wilbur, a.k.a. Weasel. The whole story revolves around this boy going from troublemaker to responsible kid ... with powers. He soon finds out his aunt is a witch and he's a warlock with slowly developing powers. The best-known ladies of Hadlyville were also a clan of witches. They all had to band together to save the swamp lands and the alligators.

I must say, I always like when twists are added rather than authors writing about these common topics such as witches and magic in the same-old-same-old manner. McKenzie used alligators instead of cats, which are the animal most-commonly associated with witches. She gave the plot a meaningful "save the animals" theme, a heartwarming touch and make a scary animal like an alligator lovable. The story had a lot of adventure, from start to finish. Just enough spooky for me with the boys daring to enter the scary bewitched mansion and sneaking around at night with the mystical creatures, plotting to save the swamp. The characters were cute and very likeable. Wilber was my favorite character. He added some humor and silliness to the story with his scaredy-cat persona, love of over eating and reading. The dialogue was well written and believable; that's something I always notice early on.

I wish I had learned more about Wilbur and his family since he was my favorite character. He just seemed like a kid no one kept track of. The end was happy and wonderful, no doubt, but I had gotten so accustomed to the action scenes, I found myself expecting a sharper ending. All-in-all, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it! It gets my 4-star rating.


  1. Thanks for the review. It's wonderful that you took the time to read the book and write this!

    Hope you'll post it on Amazon, Goodreads and Smashwords. I'm in sore need of more buzz there.

    Just joined your site. :-)

  2. You're welcome! I'm very glad I stumbled upon it. It was a fun read. :) And I most definitely will spread the word on Amazon and the rest. And thanks for joining!