Curse of the Werewolf Boy
By Chris Priestley
Published by Bloomsbury
ISBN 978 1 4088 7308 3
This new story from Chris Priestley, master of creepy tales, is a bit of a departure from his Tales of Terror series and the standalone thrillers he’s written for older teens.
Curse of the Werewolf Boy is the first title in Priestley’s new series of spooky stories for pre-teen readers set in gloomy, gargoyle-infested Maudlin Towers – a boarding school for the ”not particularly bright sons of not especially wealthy” families. This is one educational establishment that would certainly fail any government inspection.
Priestley is a talented illustrator as well as a writer, and one look at the double-page spread of cartoon representations of the odd-looking staff and pupils sets the tone for what’s to follow. Things are going to get pretty weird.
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A new Priestley book is something to look forward to, and while his latest is departure from his usual style, it definitely doesn’t disappoint.
The author’s past fiction, whether short stories or full-length novels, kept readers on the edge of their seats by mixing nail-biting plots with a strong sense of impending horror. Curse of the Werewolf Boy tones down the horror (slightly) and introduces humour and silly farce into the plot. Priestley clearly wants his readers to have a smile on their faces as they face the horrible happenings at Maudlin Towers.
Oddballs Mildew and Sponge are best friends and hate being at Maudlin Towers. Some of the other students give them a hard time, and they have to face daily lessons of utter boredom. But things are about to get even worse for the already miserable boys.
They’ve seen a Viking wandering around the school grounds, a ghost has been spotted in the school attic, and the principal is acting strangely. Not to mention the school’s prized trophy, the School Spoon, has gone missing. Clearly, something very fishy is going on!
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Things get even more interesting when the werewolf boy comes in halfway through the story, and then Mildew and Sponge also come across a time machine that plays an important part in plot.
The pair decide to play detective and solve the mysteries.
Curse of the Werewolf Boy is by turns scary and hilariously funny. At 235 pages, it’s quite a long read for younger readers, but the pages will fly by.
Both fiendishly clever and very entertaining, this is a must-read for anyone with a mischievous mind, no matter what age. Roll on book two!
John Millen can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.