There are book recommends all over the place on social media. If something about the title or the author strikes me as interesting, I try to add the title to my GoodReads TBR list, knowing if I don't have a reminder, I may never get back to that book. Sometimes titles languish on theTBR list for months before I get to them. In fact, several titles have sat there for a year-not because I changed my mind or don't read much, but because trips to the library and impulse downloads to my Kindle capture my attention and hog up my reading time. Occasionally, inspired by guilt, I pick one of the older titles, get it on my Kindle, and dive in only to find that I've been neglecting a real gem. Fizz and Peppers at the Bottom of the World by M.G. King is one of those gems.
Colin and Pepper are frenemies who, in their battle to best one another, inadvertently wake up a bunch of trolls with a fizzy raspberry drink in this highly entertaining fantasy. Before long the trolls kidnap Colin's grandmother and take her to their underground city. Of course, Colin's parents don't believe in trolls so it is up to Colin, his younger brother, and Pepper to find a way to save not just Grand, but the whole town, when the trolls start a civil war that threatens to create an earthquake.
From the very beginning, I thought this story was captivating. The style is humorous without being over the top, and Ms. King effortlessly weaves in themes of about the importance of family and friends during the children's adventures underground. The tension builds in true page-turning fashion as each time Colin thinks he's figured out how to defeat the trolls, a new twist puts him further from his goal. Another excellent touch is that each character, including prickly Pepper and feeble-minded Grand, has a heroic moment before the adventure is over. I highly recommend this story-it's earned all 5 stars.