Image from Goodreads
Pages - 360
Published by David Fickling books in November 2012
The window of Kusselmann's shop was full of teeth. They were laid out in neat rows along polished ebony shelves, and piled into small mounds in blue and white porcelain bowls the size of your hand.
In a German town, long ago, lives a tooth-puller's boy called Klaus. It isn't Klaus's fault that he sees his master steal a diamond from the mouth of a dead man in Frau Drecht's lodging house, or that Frau Drecht and her murderous son want it for themselves.
He has nothing to do with the Jesuit priest and his Aztec companion who turn up out of the blue looking for it, or the Professor of Anatomy who takes such a strange interest in it. No, Klaus doesn't want any trouble.
But when he finds himself with the diamond in his pocket, things really can't get much worse - that is, until the feathered man appears. Then they become a matter of life . . . and death.
This really is a rather dark and disturbing tale that starts off quite innocently. The story is told in third person and you find yourself privy to the minds of many unusual characters who all have an important part to play in the unravelling of this tale.
I found this book thrilling in parts and strange in others. The concept of the Feathered Man was rather frightening, yet compelling at times. When the creature first appeared, the description turned my stomach. He now sits at number two in my Top Ten of scary characters, pipped to the number one spot by Chucky...need I say more?
The book is very plot driven and at times I found myself questioning which character was actually being followed. I did find a few too many characters whose name began with the letter K, a tiny bit confusing at times. I also struggled a little to feel any empathy towards the characters with the constant change of narrator.
This book is very gory at times, reminding me of books such by Marcus Sedgewick and Cliff McNish and would definitely appeal to the older YA readers with a love of horror.
On reading further around the book, I found myself intrigued by the philosophy behind the story - the author mentioned Vitalism in his post for me here, which I found an intriguing subject to read more about. The way I can only define it is the search for the soul after death. The book is looking to present a fictional theory concerning what might happen when your body stops living - what happens to your soul upon death. The author's representation of the after life is rather ghoulish and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't end up there.
On the whole, this is a thought provoking tale full of dark shadows and nerve-wracking moments. A helter skelter ride from the slightly scary to the terrifying. Not to be read alone...