Grymm by Keith Austin

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Grymm by Keith Austin

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Enjoyably creepy tale about a haunted town, evil magicians and disappearing babies - who'd have known you'd miss 'em when they're gone. For fans of chills everywhere.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: July 2012
Publisher: Red Fox
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1849415560

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Mina and Jacob are step siblings. Unwilling ones. Mina thinks Jake is a mummy's boy. Jake thinks Mina is weird and witchy. In fact, the only thing these two can agree upon is that they both dislike new baby Bryan even more than they dislike one another. And who could blame them? Not only does Bryan take up all the attention of both parents, but he's also a colicky baby who cries from morning 'til night. And when he's not crying, he's farting and pooing and polluting the air with the foulest of smells. So when Dad takes a three-month contract at a mine on the edge of the Great Desert, neither Mina nor Josh are pleased to learn they'll be spending their summer in the back end beyond. With each other. And Bryan.

Things don't improve when they arrive in Grymm. This isn't the kind of town you arrive at. It's the kind of town you leave. Folorn and neglected with nothing to do. Strange people abound - from the estate agent who wants to eat Bryan - literally, and the cafe owner who puts maggots into milkshakes - really, to the artist whose installations feature exploding body parts - could they be real?, Grymm is a most peculiar and menacing place.

And then Bryan disappears. And nobody seems to remember him, let alone care...

If you enjoy creepy books and stroppy siblings, you'll love Grymm. It really is quite gruesome with lots of guts and gore swimming around in the shimmering heat of the desert. It's also just plain weird. And creepy. The townspeople are so creepy as to be genuinely frightening and the big bad villain in the background is superbly camp and nasty. But perhaps most worrying of all is the way in which Bryan's parents forget all about him when he disappears. That's a universally lurking fear to tap into. And, as the blurb on the back of the book says, nothing in Grymm is quite what it appears to be. There's one exception to this though, which is the relationship between Mina and Jacob. Moody teenagers and sibiling stroppery abound and it is both recognisable and funny. In the middle of murderous and supernatural goings-on, these two never miss a chance of a dig at each other.

Recommended to all those who like their horror to come with a goodly dollop of black humour attached.

Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings also talks about a place that is an anytown on the outside but anything but on the inside. The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish is a beautifully written and truly chilling ghost story set in a creepy mansion and featuring lost children, fearsome hunters and echoing nursery rhymes. Dark Woods by Steve Voake is a highly original thriller-come-horror story involving weird science, bogeymen and being lost in the woods. You'll never think of a camping trip in quite the same way again.

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Buy Grymm by Keith Austin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Grymm by Keith Austin at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Grymm by Keith Austin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Grymm by Keith Austin at


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