Forget what you may have read before about witches and their “familiars” – animals who work with and communicate with them. Usually, it’s a cat – a black one – that’s involved. But in George Knows. the title character is a lovable basset hound who is the familiar for a young witch-in-training – 12-year-old Karly. “Witchiness” runs in the family. Karly’s Aunt Heather is an herbalist and healer who, with George, is teaching the young girl to develop her inheritance of the family’s gifts, including mental telepathy.
When human bones are found by George and Karly as they’re out walking in the park, all their supernatural wiles will come in handy to solve this mystery. There’s also a side story about saving the park from developers, and even a budding romance thrown in.
This is a cute book with a fun story. If you normally shy away from talking animals, it might be a bit difficult for you to convince yourself to accept the book, but read it for the entertainment value this urban fantasy brings. It may be best suited to the YA market but there is fun to be had for adults who are young at heart and into either animals or the paranormal, too.
Author Mindy Mymudes understands the genre and writes with a great sense of humor as well. The writing is so “cute” and cleverly written that at first, it’s a bit difficult to grasp some of the nuances. Basset hound George refers to his young charge Karly as a Girlpup, and family members are his PackMom and PackDad. George’s perspective on life revolves around two things — food (typical dog) and “smelltastes.” This refers to his heightened sense of smell which he associates with tastes as well. Words are run together in his world and to dog lovers it seems natural after a while. All that boundless energy probably does translate to dogs thinking, “rabbitrabbitrabbit” or when associating a scent with a young girl, “sweetmilkFruitLoops.”
Mymudes is obviously an animal lover, down to the smallest details of not only life with a dog.
Even though it begins with digging up human bones, the book isn’t really a murder mystery, yet there are many mysterious elements, and it’s certainly a satisfying fantasy story, with a central character of a supernaturally-inclined dog and even a Hodag (dragon) woven into the story later on.It would seem the door has been left open for a sequel and many readers will find this a pleasant prospect.