Squeeeeeee! This fun novel leaves me wanting to sleep in a hammock in the cleaning closet of an oddities museum. Okay, so the crazy uncle is a bit of a problem, though I'm not sure why the protagonist Thatcher thinks that talking to seagulls is an indication of his craziness. I've talked to every bowl and table in the house, and live things like the dogs and chickens, and I'm not crazy. Pretty sure, anyway. And as it turns out, the uncle had a good reason to talk to the seagull.
The museum reminded me of Marsh's Museum at Longbeach, Washington, back when I was a little girl and all the music player machines worked and it had a lot more nasty things in jars than it does now. The whale skeleton has disintegrated, the museum has moved across the street, and the aisles have widened. But it is still the home of Jake the alligator boy.
One slowly finds out the entire town is a museum of oddities, and then there is Atlantis, and a princess, and badboy squids. And then comes battle. And then....
I was surprised by the ending. It doesn't end with a lot of slashing and cutting. Oh wait, there is cutting. But not the kind you are thinking of. I was so pleased that Thatcher could go beyond dichotomies and find a third way.
I can recommend this book to anybody who likes fantasy.