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.
I saw this tote bag from Daydreaming Designs and immediately thought ‘Jeez that’s one of my catchphrases’.
DD is a new venture by Faye Rogers (@daydreamin_star) with exclusive designs printed up once minimum orders have been reached).
Find out more, and pre-order your copy here. You only have until 29th October 2017 to do so!!!
I have literally said this phrase in at least 1 out of 3 conversations I have about books. I am a book hoarder and a book desirer and being involved in the online book community has made this even worse. I see the shiny new book, I pre-order or buy the shiny new book, I run out of time to read the shiny new book, it languishes on a shelf staring at me. I know it is something I really want to read but I see a shiny new book …. and then I say this.
What bookish catchphrases do you often say?
When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom?
Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.
But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.
Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?
Sounds good? – Add to Goodreads
Cara Thurlbourn writes children’s and young adult fiction. ‘Fire Lines’ is her first novel and it’s a story she’s been planning since she was fifteen years old.
Cara has a degree in English from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University.
She lives in a tiny village in Suffolk and has worked in academic and educational publishing for nearly ten years. Cara blogs about her author journey and in November 2016 she crowdfunded her first children’s book. 10% of its profits are donated to animal rehoming charities.
Cara plans to write at least two more books in the Fire Lines series, as well as a young adult mystery series, and has lots more children’s stories waiting in the wings.
You can sign up for Cara’s newsletter, for giveaways, updates and latest releases, here: www.firelines.co.uk. Some lucky subscribers may win books and swag. There’s also a map of the world on the website for Bookish map people to enjoy.
What I Thought
I really enjoyed this story. I found the main group of characters easy to connect to and the world created immensely interesting. I’m very glad to hear this is the first in a trilogy so that we get more chance to explore.
That being said I was really interested in the location where the book started and would have liked to have spent a little more time with Émi there. I think because it reminded me a little of the world in Divergent, trapped in a walled city with outside civilisation destroyed. Looks like we get to go back in book two but things will have changed. I just wanted more detail about daily life. For example I’d have liked some more detail on the magick systems in the world. In the initial city magick has been banned but I’d love to know more about what it looked like before the ban.
I felt the middle portion of the book did lack a little dramatic action and then the end of the book ramped that up and perhaps felt a little rushed, and hello Cliffhanger. Luckily I was already invested enough to want more, and I had realised there wasn’t enough book for all my questions to be answered.
There is a love triangle in play here (personally I don’t mind them especially when they aren’t the main focus of the story – like in this case) and I was firmly on one team but will be watching carefully to see how this follows through.
I have a concept that some things that have been introduced aren’t quite what they seem and I’m intrigued to know if I’m right.
There were a couple of scenes that I adored and so want to see filmed because my visual imagining is never good enough.
The first are the scenes with the elephants and the bonding rituals between elephants and riders. I got full on Dumbo feels at one point as well.
The second was the Watcher Fledging Ceremony. The winged display was so enchantingly described. This would make a great animation piece for a fan artist to work on – anyone???
Finally I’d like to share a quote that I think speaks very much to what is going on in our current political climate and should be read as a bit of a warning to us all.
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