Blood Water by Dean Vincent Carter

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Blood Water by Dean Vincent Carter

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Marauding slug causes havoc during flood in an enjoyable, if unoriginal, schlock horror for kids. Not really Bookbag's bag, but lots of them will enjoy it.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: June 2009
Publisher: Corgi
ISBN: 0552555738

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Alert! Alert! Marauding slug at twelve o'clock! Hostile! Dive! Dive!

Dr Morrow just couldn't leave it well alone. He knew the new species he had discovered was dangerous, deadly even. He knew jealous fellow researcher Holland was spying on him. But scientific curiosity got the better of him. And now, the specimen has escaped, there's a flood in the town, and a marauding black slug with a murderous personality is on the loose, with only two boys to track it down and kill it.

Okay. Good premise. I think.

So, um, basically, we follow brothers Sean and James as they race around, trying to track down the horrible creature, while the creature rushes from human host to human host searching for something-or-other - the something-or-other is the mystery of it all. Every time the nasty beast vacates a person, the person dies horribly. There are lots of liquefying internal organs, plenty of vomiting, and enough blood to keep the NHS going for some considerable time. And just in case you hadn't realised how dangerous this thing is, the rain provides a constant pathetic fallacy.

I'm sounding snotty, aren't I? Horror really isn't my bag and this really is out and out horror. It has all the elements - the aforementioned gore, the sympathetic background, static ciphers of characters and a really bad baddie with something of the supernatural about it. Lots of young teenagers are going to like it. The horribleness, while truly horrible, is fairly carefully pitched and there's nothing that will give young readers nightmares. They love gore, and this gore doesn't hide under anything that could be remotely like their bed on a dark night. For the junior fan of schlock, this will be a hugely entertaining read. It's pacy, it's gory, it has a great deal of energy about it, and it has all the tropes.

It's not going to challenge them, though.

My thanks to the nice people at Corgi for sending the book.

If they like horror, they'll love Darren Shan's Demonata series. My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick is a much more literary, but equally horrific, affair. The Ribbajack and Other Curious Yarns by Brian Jacques has horror and humour combined in six delicious short stories.

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