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.
Happy Halloween 👻 🎃 everyone – here’s a nice creepy piece of short fiction I wrote a while back. Hope you enjoy!!!
That’s what he saw first on his early morning jog over the dunes. Their feet.
At first he thought he might have interrupted something private, something that is usually and more comfortably best achieved indoors. Their feet were intertwined, touching toe to toe. On hers were two silver toe rings in twisted metal. He apologised then to their twisted faces. Eyes open they looked into each other’s eyes and saw forever and nowhere all at once.
He was not ashamed to scream as the crab scuttled over her hand. His dog lurched forward to lap at the dried blood that had once been dripping down from the gunshot between her eyes. The man was worse, his shot was through the mouth up into his brain. The congealed mess and sound of the dog’s lapping made him feel sick and he vomited.
Turned away from the scene he knelt in the sand no longer able to stand. He dialled 999 all the while trying to think of his response to ‘What’s your emergency?’ When the question came, he vomited again and spat out, ‘They’re both dead. Beach. Come quick.’
He spotted the gun then, in the man’s hand, and wondered if the girl had had a choice in this or if she had just been on her dream date watching a beautiful sunset with her lover.
When he heard the siren’s wail he wept and his dog, inquisitive and drawn to his sobs came close, nuzzled up and licked his tears.
This is a perfect Halloween read but I’d say it was more creepy with a slow building tension than out and out horrific. Although a few scenes may turn your stomach! Personally I found Gretchen’s mother’s attitude to books the most horrific thing in the book.
Abby and Gretchen first meet at Abby’s ET themed 10th birthday party, to which Gretchen is the only class member to turn up. Their friendship develops from there until the fateful night where everything changes. Don’t do drugs ladies or you’ll get possessed by a demon.
After a failed acid trip Gretchen turns from sour emo to grade A bitch. Think Heathers on steroids. But Abby stands by her and gradually works out what is going on with the help of someone whose demon vision is super-powered. The exorcist is a beefcake called Brother Lemon who reminds me of Edgar Frog from The Lost Boys in his intensity. Are he and Abby successful in saving Gretchen against all odds? You’ll just have to read to find out.
This was a witty, fun and surprisingly emotional read. Definitely one for ‘Be Kind Rewind and Read Again’.
Perfect for fans of the 80s, of Stranger Things and for people that enjoy reading about the power of female friendship. Each chapter heading references an 80s song and there’s even a Spotify playlist available. I just need this to be a movie now.
Thanks to Jamie-Lee and Quirk for the copy for the purposes of review. All the flailing above is my own.