08 June 2022

Review: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt book cover

* Copy courtesy of Bloomsbury *

I was here purely for the octopus. But wait, let me back up a little. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt isn't my usual fare. It's an uplifting, faith restoring domestic mystery with a happy resolution at the end. I usually don't have the patience for regular characters living their regular lives, however the idea of Marcellus the octopus being one of the three main characters intrigued me enough to hook me into this light and breezy read.

Let me be clear though, if you can’t handle talking animals this isn’t a book for you. I hated Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (1 star) a few years ago with the exception of the sections narrated by Lily the dog. But I loved Watership Down by Richard Adams (5 stars) and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (5 stars), so I've had a reasonably mixed but largely positive reading experience with animal narrators.

In Remarkably Bright Creatures, Tova is widowed and cleaning at the aquarium way beyond her retirement years just to have something to do. Cameron is a douche bag determined to track down his biological father, and Marcellus is a giant Pacific octopus counting his days in captivity in the aquarium where Tova works.

There are a few mysteries for Tova and Cameron in the novel, and slowly but surely our characters move towards each other and the truth unfurls. Cameron got on my nerves immediately and I almost put the book down I was so annoyed with his attitude and life choices. Marcellus easily stole the show and I thoroughly enjoyed his chapters.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt is recommended for those seeking a feel-good, light and easy contemporary beach read.

My Rating:

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