Monday, 27 February 2017

#ReviewMonday with KM Lockwood: The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim by Shane Peacock

Published by Tundra Books May 03, 2016 
352 Pages in Hardcover (available as an e-book)

Read via NetGalley

Edgar Brim is a sensitive orphan who, exposed to horror stories from his father as a young child, is afraid of almost everything and suffers from nightly terrors. His stern new guardian, Mr. Thorne, sends the boy to a gloomy school in Scotland where his dark demons only seem to worsen and he is bullied and ridiculed for his fears. But years later, when sixteen-year-old Edgar finds a journal belonging to his novelist father, he becomes determined to confront his nightmares and the bullies who taunt him. 

After the horrific death of a schoolmate, Edgar becomes involved with an eccentric society at the urging of a mysterious professor who believes that monsters from famous works of literature are real and whose mandate is to find and destroy these creatures. With the aid of a rag-tag crew of friends, the fear-addled teen sets about on his dark mission, one that begins in the cemetery on the bleak Scottish moors and ends in a spine-chilling climax on the stage of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in London with Henry Irving, the infamous and magnetic actor, and his manager, Bram Stoker, the author of the most frightening and sensational novel of the day, Dracula. Can Edgar Brim truly face his terror and conquer his fears?
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To get a feel for the gothic atmosphere of this YA tome, you might like to watch a trailer found here. It should give you a good idea of the kind of Victorian horror story mood Shane Peacock creates.

One of the best things about horror and ghost stories as genres is that they both cross age-ranges. You can read them when you’re ready – whatever age you might be. So The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim might just as well be read by an adult as a teen. 

Whatever the age, the book will be enjoyed most by those who like plenty of detail, scene-setting and references to Victorian Britain. Characters from both literature and history make their appearance and in 352 pages, there’s plenty to get immersed in.

You might expect from the cover (designed by Jennifer Lum) it wouldn’t be for the squeamish – and you’d be right. There are gruesome and eerie moments a-plenty. Yet since it’s book one of a trilogy you do know at least one of the ‘good guys’ will survive – but how?

Read with the lights on to find out . . .

K. M. Lockwood lives by the sea in Sussex - see the pics on Instagram. She fills jars with sea-glass, writes on a very old desk and reads way past her bedtime. Her tiny bed-and-breakfast is stuffed full of books - and even the breakfasts are named after writers. You're always welcome to chat stories with @lockwoodwriter on Twitter.

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