Crawlers by Sam Enthoven

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Crawlers by Sam Enthoven

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: If you're looking for an absolute gorefest, you will find it here. Horrible creatures maurauding through the Barbican, a group of mismatched, trapped teenagers and a ticking clock form every required element for fans of gruesome schlock in this rather enjoyable, pacy book.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: April 2010
Publisher: Corgi
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 0552558702

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Why are the men that want to take over the world using evil alien beings always so stupid? Steadman is stupid. Ever since the Great Fire of London trapped her in an underground dungeon in 1666, the Queen has been neutralised. Even then, the great and the powerful couldn't quite bring themselves to kill her. She had too much potential. But they did have the sense to keep her safely locked away. But now Steadman thinks he knows better. He thinks he can rule the world through the Queen and he's set her a test. If she passes, he will set her free.

Ben is on a school trip to the Barbican, to see a performance of Shakespeare's Henry IV Part 1. It wouldn't be so bad if he weren't with his insufferably snobby fellow pupils from his insufferably snobby private school. Jasmine's on a similar school trip to see the same play. It wouldn't be so bad if she weren't with her insufferably loutish fellow pupils from her insufferably loutish school. You can see where this is going, can't you? Yes. Guess where the Queen's dungeon is? Below the Barbican, of course.

Alert! Alert! Mind controlling rubbery spider creature at six o'clock! Hostile! Dive! Dive!

If you're looking for an absolute gorefest, you will find it here. Horrible creatures marauding through the Barbican, a group of mismatched, trapped teenagers who don't trust one another, hordes of zombified adults, and a clock ticking towards a massive explosion - what more could you want?! I'm not the world's greatest fan of schlock, but I have to say I found Crawlers immensely enjoyable. It's clear that Sam Enthoven had an absolute ball writing it and the enthusisasm comes across in spades.

All the action is squashed into a six-hour timeframe, and so the writing is smart, snappy and pacy. The characters represent the standard stereotypes - bully, nerd, hanger-on, reluctant hero, etc, but they are given much better treatment than is the norm in some genre novels. Each of the trapped children gets a fully-rounded personality and some backstory, too. And it isn't only the two central characters, Ben and Jasmine, who get to behave heroically. The monsters are suitably disgusting - as is the cover art, look at the thumbnail up there! Ugh! - and you get an amusing nod to the evils of greedy corporations, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

If you have a junior horror fan at home, they are going to love this book.

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

I am sure they'd also love Savannah Grey: A Horror Story by Cliff McNish. Blood Water by Dean Vincent Carter has a similar premise to Crawlers, but isn't quite as good. 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.

Buy Crawlers by Sam Enthoven at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Crawlers by Sam Enthoven at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Crawlers by Sam Enthoven at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Crawlers by Sam Enthoven at Amazon.com.


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