Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Barnaby Grimes: Curse of the Night Wolf - Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

seems like this is going to be another fun series from the author/illustrator team that brought us the edgeworld chronicles. "barnaby grimes" is a victorian gothic thriller set in the streets of a fictionalized london, england. riddell's illustrations lend the story an air of steampunk as well, which i quite enjoyed. this is the story of barnaby grimes, a tick-tock lad (errand boy) who delivers everything from packages and messages to observations on the aggressiveness of the local bullfinch population. barnaby's preferred method of getting from points a to b is referred to as "highstacking", which is not at all unlike parkour (look it up), which takes him across the chimney's of his city. one fateful night barnaby happens across a large and vicious wolf, which he is luckily able to do away with by knocking it into a vat of glue. however, when he retraces his steps to investigate he discovers that an old friend of his appears to have been a victim of the wolf, though there is nothing left of his body. concerned and curious barnaby utilizes his considerable sleuthing abilities to find out more about the mysterious wolf. barnaby is eventually lead to the door of dr. cadwallader's clinic, and that's when things start to get really dangerous. this is an easy to read story that will be perfect for young people who want a bit of a darker element in the story. however, be warned, this book does get a little gruesome in places and the illustrations (particularly the first one) are somewhat disturbing.

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