Mildew and Sponge don’t think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloomladen, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when somebody steals the School Spoon and the teachers threaten to cancel the Christmas holidays until the culprit is found, our heroes must spring into action and solve the crime!
But what starts out as a classic bit of detectivating quickly becomes weirder than they could have imagined. Who is the ghost in the attic? What’s their history teacher doing with a time machine? And why do a crazy bunch of Vikings seem to think Mildew is a werewolf?
Hugely funny, deliciously creepy and action-packed by turns, this brand new series from Chris Priestley is perfect for 8+ readers who like their mysteries with a bit of bite. Fans of Lemony Snicket and Chris Riddell will love Curse of the Werewolf Boy.
Ever since he was a teenager, Chris has loved unsettling and creepy stories. He has fond memories of buying comics like Strange Tales and House of Mystery, watching classic BBC TV adaptations of M.R. James’ ghost stories every Christmas and reading assorted weirdness by everyone from Edgar Allan Poe to Ray Bradbury. He hopes his books will haunt his readers in the way those writers have haunted him.
What I Thought
This was such a fun read and perfect for the target audience. I can imagine that this would make a great bedtime story with lots of enjoyment to be had doing the voices.
The two main characters, best friends Mildew and Sponge reminded me of Phineus and Ferb, as did the whole crackpot adventure.
Not only did Chris write all the words he drew all the pictures too. And I felt the illustrations added to the story, in one case more clearly contributing details that wouldn’t have been gleamed from words alone. And look at this map?
This is a fun boarding school parody that will entertain fans of the genre. I’d love to see Robin Stevens and Chris do a Murder Most Unladylike/Maudlin Towers crossover. Maybe the Deepdean Vampire could meet the Maudlin Werewolf?!
The werewolf aspect wasn’t really introduced until halfway through the book which I thought was a little late, not that there wasn’t lots of enjoyment to be had with all the other aspects of the story first.
There were lots of threads that were tied up and this was very well executed, and I imagine created quite a headache for everyone involved. Note to self: Never write time travel. Addition to note: Oops too late – – Ask Chris for advice on how to keep track of everything.
Will our intrepid duo live to have another adventure or will they fall down to the curse? Even though Halloween is over do pick up a copy. This dark nights time of year is perfect for spooky stories.
I nearly got bitten by this little Werecat the other night but how can you not forgive him?
Thanks to Faye Rogers and Bloomsbury for arranging the review copy. Opinions are mine.
Valor is under arrest for the attempted murder of the crown prince. Her parents are outcasts from the royal court, her sister is banished for theft of a national treasure, and now Valor has been sentenced to life imprisonment at Demidova, a prison built from stone and ice.
But that’s exactly where she wants to be. For her sister was sent there too, and Valor embarks on an epic plan to break her out from the inside.
No one has escaped from Demidova in over three hundred years, and if Valor is to succeed she will need all of her strength, courage and love. If the plan fails, she faces a chilling fate worse than any prison …
An unforgettable story of sisterhood, valour and rebellion, Prisoner of Ice and Snow will fire you up and melt your heart all at once. Perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell, Piers Torday and Cathryn Constable.
Ruth Lauren lives in the West Midlands in England with her family and a lot of cats. She likes chocolate, walking in the woods, cheese, orchids, going to the movies, and reading as many books as she can. She’s been a teacher and worked in lots of different offices, but she likes writing best. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is her debut novel.
Instagram: www .instagram.com/ruth_lauren
What I Thought
This was such a thrilling read with high stakes (both personal and societal) from the outset, and as a consequence had me zipping through to find out what happens.
Prisoner of Ice and Snow was like a cross between Prison Break, Six of Crows, Nevernight, and the first Throne of Glass, with a strong central sisterly relationship (a la Frozen), but perhaps aimed at a slightly younger audience.
Valor is such an awesome character. The book is told from her first person perspective. She’s a 13 year old willing to risk her own freedom for her twin but good enough to not walk over other people. I will admit to being a little ahead of her at times but I believe that was purposeful and for me doesn’t usually detract from enjoyment of a story.
I really liked that although the main action was the attempted escape from the prison Tyur’ma that there was intrigue outside of this. If Valor’s sister Sasha is innocent of the crime she was said to commit who did it and why?
The wider cast of characters were all interesting in their own right and I’m glad to hear a sequel is coming so hopefully we get to know even more about them and the world in which they live.
Prisoner of Ice and Snow is out tomorrow so you can read it really soon. Do make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour too. Thanks to Faye and Bloomsbury for my copy of the book for the purpose of this honest review.
Norman had always been perfectly normal. That was until the day he grew a pair of wings!
Norman is very surprised to have wings suddenly – and he has the most fun ever trying them out high in the sky. But then he has to go in for dinner. What will his parents think? What will everyone else think? Norman feels the safest plan is to cover his wings with a big coat.
But hiding the thing that makes you different proves tricky and upsetting. Can Norman ever truly be himself?
A poignant yet uplifting story about individuality, with stunning artwork in a striking minimal palette from the author/illustrator of Herman’s Letter. Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Benj Davies will love it.
Tom Percival writes and illustrates picture books and has also produced covers and internal illustrations for the Skulduggery Pleasant series. Tom has written and illustrated three books for Bloomsbury: HERMAN’S LETTER, BUBBLE TROUBLE and the forthcoming HERMAN’S HOLIDAY. He grew up in a remote and beautiful part of South Shropshire. He now lives in a far more conventional building (a house), with his girlfriend and their young sons.
What I Thought
Ok. So as a nearly 40 yr old (1 week and 3 days to go!) I guess Picture Books aren’t directed at me. But, whatever your age you can appreciate a good story and good art and Perectly Norman has both.
The art style is adorable and I love that the focus is on Norman throughout by having him in colour and the rest in monochrome.
The theme of the story is so important and the fact that Norman’s ‘difference’ is that he has wings could be used as a metaphor for so many things. His fear of being seen as abnormal leads him to wear a big coat. Another metaphor for hiding. Norman finds he struggles to engage in everyday life, he gets bullied and he gets depressed. But when he is encouraged to be himself his heart and body soar and life is colourful again. He also finds out that he wasn’t quite so alone in being different after all.
What a brilliant message told in a beautiful way.
What it’s like to have wings
When I was asked to take part in the blog tour it seemed like fate was playing a part. This weekend has been the New Forest Fairy Festival and I have sprouted my own wings.
On Saturday I went as a Book Fairy with my homemade Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wings. I also gave out free books and loved to see the joy of reading in the recipients’ eyes.
Please read this book with your children, and let them know it’s ok to be Perfectly Them.
Today is the last stop on the blog tour but do go check out the previous blogs.