Thursday 25 February 2016

The Grindle Witch by Benjamin J. Myers

There was something of the goblin
about this tall and crooked stranger
who had appeared spinning mystery in his long black coat and battered hat…
Is this the demon? thought Jack

Published in hardback April 2015 by Orion Books
Due out in paperback March 2016 - 288 pages
Cover illustration by Jodee Taylah, design by Sinem Erkas

Summary from Publisher’s Website
Beware the Grindle Witch, an ancient evil come back to life in this creepy supernatural tale.
When Jack Jolly moves from the city to the tiny Northern village of Grindle, he thinks his life's just become a lot more boring. But then he finds himself plunged into the middle of a terrifying mystery, and confronting an ancient evil - the Grindle Witch.
But when Jack and his new friends, Paddy and Leila, take drastic measures to stop the Grindle Witch, they realise that they may have unleashed more than they bargained for.

Let’s begin with the striking cover by Jodee Taylah and Sinem Erkas. It gives you the exact flavour of this book: dark, creepy but with some humour and warmth. The strap line confirms it’s not going to be for the squeamish, and there’s a suggestion of nature playing a part. All this is spot on.

The setting is both timeless and contemporary with a sometimes unnerving sense of a hostile natural world. To offset this, there’s both strong friendship and some amusing over-the-top characters. Most readers will enjoy the to-and-fro between the three teens – and the gentle romance that blossoms.

There’s an entertaining difference between what Jack thinks, and what he says and does. He’s a likeable character – and so when the darkness comes, we feel for him. The adventure is fast-paced and has some rather gruesome moments – be warned.

Ideal for those who love Spooks books by Joseph Delaney, or the Lockwood & Co stories by Jonathan Stroud.

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