Bang Goes a Troll! (An Awfully Beastly Business) by The Beastly Boys

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Bang Goes a Troll! (An Awfully Beastly Business) by The Beastly Boys

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Mongredien
Reviewed by Sue Mongredien
Summary: An action-packed adventure story, full of weird and wonderful beasts!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 192 Date: February 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
ISBN: 978-1847383983

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Bang Goes A Troll is the third in the popular 'Awfully Beastly Business' series, written by the Beastly Boys, who are also known as Matthew Morgan, David Sinden and Guy Macdonald. These books are really well-packaged, with an eye-catching hologram on the front cover and great design features throughout. My eldest two children (aged 8 and 6) absolutely loved the earlier two books in the series, and there was an excited shout of Cool! Can I read it first? when this new one arrived through the letterbox.

I hadn't read the first books (Werewolf Versus Dragon and Sea Monsters and Other Delights) myself before starting Bang Goes A Troll but it wasn't necessary to have prior knowledge of the characters or set-up – this book is absolutely fine to read as a stand-alone story.

The hero of the story is Ulf, a young werewolf who lives at the RSPCB, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Beasts. One day, a messenger bat arrives at the Farraway Hall, the RSPCB's headquarters, with a one-word message: 'Help!' Dr Fielding, the centre's vet, discovers that the bat has come all the way from Honeycomb Mountain in Norway, a habitat for underground beasts. She decides to fly the helicopter there to see if a beast is in trouble, taking Orson, a friendly giant, with her. Ulf has a bad feeling about Honeycomb Mountain and decides to stow away on the helicopter with them, accompanied by Tiana, his fairy friend.

Meanwhile, at Honeycomb Mountain, the evil Baron Marackai, a sworn enemy of the RSPCB, is planning a very special party - a troll-hunting party, for a group of bloodthirsty beast-hunters. He has smoked out all the mountain trolls and captured them in preparation, and is also responsible for sending the messenger bat to the RSPCB, hoping to lure the RSPCB members to the site, and trap them.

From this point on, the story gets very exciting, with non-stop action, lots of scary beasts and cliffhangers galore. The creatures Ulf and Tiana encounter in the mountain are wonderfully imaginative – I particularly loved the huge white cave mantis, with its eerie grown-over eyelids, and the disgustingly slimy monstramaggot which coats Ulf and Tiana in sticky mucus. (This was my son's favourite bit of the whole book, needless to say!)

The tension builds and builds until the finale of the hunt itself, which takes place in the Baron's man-made valley, the Predatron. By now, he has captured Orson and Dr Fielding, and has tied Ulf to a bench, with a guillotine blade hanging above his neck. Just when all seems lost, the heroes manage to outwit the baddies, eventually turning the Baron's torture weapons on the hunting party to great (and gruesome!) effect.

I really admire the way this book has been written, designed and put together. The chapters are short and pacy, the sentences are snappy, and there are wonderful, rather graphic novel-esque black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout the text. I particularly liked the inventive beasts who feature throughout – I got the feeling the authors had a lot of fun thinking them up! Although I found the opening chapters a little slow, the action really gets going about a third of the way in, with oodles of suspense and drama to keep young readers hooked. My children are already looking forward to The Jungle Vampire, the next instalment…

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you must read Werewolf Versus Dragon.

Buy Bang Goes a Troll! (An Awfully Beastly Business) by The Beastly Boys at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bang Goes a Troll! (An Awfully Beastly Business) by The Beastly Boys at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Bang Goes a Troll! (An Awfully Beastly Business) by The Beastly Boys at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bang Goes a Troll! (An Awfully Beastly Business) by The Beastly Boys at Amazon.com.


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