The Alchemaster's Apprentice by Walter Moers
Hardback, 2009, Library copy.
This is the second book I’ve read my Moers. I picked up The City of Dreaming Books after seeing the awesome cover and liked it so much I found this one!
In this book, an animal called a Crat (which is very much like a cat except for it can speak every language possible) lives in a city called Malasia, where disease is a part of everyday life. This Crat, Echo, finds himself homeless and starving in the beginning of the book. He’s forced to make a deal with Malasia’s dangerous Alchemaster Ghoolion to survive. The Alchemaster will feed him and take care of him for a full month in exchange for Echo’s life. At the full moon, he’ll use Echo’s fat to bring himself immortality. The book is about Echo’s adventures with Ghoolion and his quest to find a way out of their contract.
Like Dreaming Books, this book moves slowly. It took me about a month to finish it, even though it was probably in about five or six readings. I think that’s just his style. It’s not a “I-can’t put this book down, it’s so addicting” type of read, but it’s the type of book where I can just get lost in the world. There are so many creative inventions. How does he come up with so many different creatures and ideas? I want to know what goes through this guys’ head as he’s walking around grocery shopping and stuff. I can just picture him picking up a nut and being like, “Hmm, this could be the food that imparts visions and knowledge to Echo in my book!”
So, yes, a very enjoyable read. I get lost in Zamonia and I love reading about Moers’ crazy inventions. I think it’d be cool to have them on e-readers, but then we’d be without his cool illustrations.